China May Auto Sales Up 85 YearonYear

China May Auto Sales Up 8.5% Year-on-Year

China's auto sales grew 8.5% year-on-year last month, moderating slightly from April as the economy slows down.

SHANGHAI -- China's auto sales grew 8.5% year-on-year last month, an industry group said Tuesday, moderating slightly from April as the economy slows down.

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% year-on-year to just over 2.0 million vehicles.

China's economy grew an annual 7.4% in the first quarter of this year, weaker than the 7.7% in the October-December period, but there have been signs of an uptick 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% to 9.84 million vehicles, it said.

For passenger cars alone, sales surged 13.9% on the year to 1.59 million in May and rose around 11% to 8.07 million for the January-May period, the group said.

General Motors (IW 500/5) set a May record for China, selling 276,109 vehicles, up 9.2% from the same month last year, according to the company.

China sales of Ford (IW 500/8) grew a whopping 32% 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.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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