FILE - In this April26, 2016 file photo, visitors examine a Chinese automaker Denza electric vehicle on display at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing. China's auto sales growth accelerated in July, an industry group said Friday, Aug. 12, while General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. reported record demand for the month. Sales in the world's biggest auto market rose 26.3 percent to 1.6 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
FILE
– In this April26, 2016 file photo, visitors examine a Chinese
automaker Denza electric vehicle on display at the Beijing
International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing. China’s auto
sales growth accelerated in July, an industry group said Friday,
Aug. 12, while General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. reported
record demand for the month. Sales in the world’s biggest auto
market rose 26.3 percent to 1.6 million units, the China
Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. (AP Photo/Andy
Wong, File)


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BEIJING (AP) — China’s auto sales growth accelerated in July, an
industry group said Friday, while General Motors Co. and Ford
Motor Co. reported record demand for the month.

Sales in the world’s biggest auto market rose 26.3 percent to 1.6
million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers
said. Total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, rose 23
percent to 1.8 million units.

Sales of SUVs, whose explosive popularity has helped to buoy
demand as other categories sagged, soared 47.4 percent to 580,000
vehicles.

Demand cratered last year, jolting global brands that depend on
China to drive revenue. Sales revived after the government cut
sales taxes, but longer-term growth is expected to moderate from
the double-digit rates of recent years.

Sales of GM vehicles by the company and its Chinese manufacturing
partners rose 18 percent to 270,529, lifting the total for 2016
to more than 2 million units. Ford Motor Co. sales rose 15
percent to 88,189 vehicles.

Volkswagen AG, which competes with GM for the status of China’s
most popular vehicle brand, said sales rose 16 percent to
285,900.

Sales by Chinese brands outpaced the market, expanding 27.6
percent to 634,000 vehicles. Sales of Chinese-made SUVs surged
57.1 percent to 314,000.

The market share of Chinese automakers edged down 0.7 percentage
points to 39.5 percent, according to CAAM. That followed small
but steady gains as the popularity of lower-cost models helped
them claw back share this year.

For the first seven months of the year, auto sales rose 11.1
percent to 12.6 million units. Sales by Chinese brands rose 14.4
percent to 5.4 million.