China Auto Sales Rise 20.3 Percent In October

The sales were propelled by a surging demand for sport utility vehicles.

Mnet 94256 China Auto Sales Ap

China's auto sales rose 20.3 percent in October from a year earlier, propelled by surging demand for sport utility vehicles, an industry group reported Thursday.

Dealers sold 2.3 million cars, minivans and SUVs in the world's biggest auto market, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Total vehicle sales including trucks and buses climbed 18.6 percent to 2.6 million units.

Sales growth plunged last year, slamming global brands that look to China to drive revenue. They rebounded after Beijing suspended a sales tax, though growth is expected to drop back to single digits after the tax cut expires at the end of the year.

Strong demand in lower-priced market segments has helped Chinese automakers recover market share from bigger, richer global rivals.

October's SUV sales rose 43.3 percent over a year earlier to 896,000 units. Sales of Chinese-brand SUVs increased 60.4 percent to 557,000, expanding the Chinese share of that market by 6.6 percentage points to 62.2 percent.

Sales of sedans rose 10.1 percent to 1.2 million, while those of Chinese-branded sedans expanded 8.3 percent to 243,000.

Total auto sales for the first 10 months of the year rose 15.4 percent over the same time last year to 19.1 million.

General Motors Co. said sales of GM-brand cars by the company and its Chinese manufacturing partners rose 5.7 percent in October to 345,733. This year's sales to date rose to just over 3 million units.

Ford Motor Co. said sales rose 14 percent from a year earlier to 107,618. Year-to-date sales rose 10 percent to 966,000.

Nissan Motor Co. said October sales rose 16.1 percent to 127,200. Toyota Motor Co. said sales rose 9.6 percent to 99,200. Toyota's year-to-date sales were up 11 percent to 989,300.

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