China's auto sales growth slows in February to 6.4 percent but SUV sales jump

Markets Associated Press

China's auto sales growth decelerated in February while strong demand for Chinese-made SUVs helped to offset weakness in sales of domestic sedans.

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An industry group, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said Tuesday that sales in the world's biggest auto market rose 6.4 percent to 1.4 million vehicles. That was down from January's 10.3 percent expansion.

Demand for autos has weakened as China's economic growth cooled to a two-decade low last year of 7.4 percent. February sales also were depressed by the Lunar New Year holiday, when many businesses close for up to two weeks.

Sales of Chinese-made SUVs rose 94.7 percent in February over a year earlier, helping to offset a 3.3 percent decline in sales of domestic sedans.