China May auto sales up 8.5% on year: industry group
Customers look at a Mercedes Benz C260 in a showroom in Shanghai on March 4, 2013 - by Peter Parks
Sales in the world's biggest auto market reached 1.91 million vehicles in May, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement.
In April, auto sales rose 8.8 percent year-on-year to just over 2.0 million vehicles.
China's economy grew an annual 7.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, weaker than the 7.7 percent in the October-December period, but there have been signs of an up-tick in the latest economic data.
But the industry group described the growth in the auto market as good.
Auto sales in the first five months of this year jumped an annual 9.0 percent to 9.84 million vehicles, it said.
For passenger cars alone, sales surged 13.9 percent on the year to 1.59 million in May and rose around 11 percent to 8.07 million for the January-May period, the group said.
US auto giant General Motors set a May record for China, selling 276,109 vehicles, up 9.2 percent from the same month last year, according to the company.
China sales of its US competitor Ford grew a whopping 32 percent in May to 93,323 vehicles, Ford said last week.
Foreign brand vehicles, which are manufactured in China through joint ventures for the mass market, command better brand recognition and perceptions of higher quality among Chinese consumers.
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