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China's July auto sales up by 6.7%: industry group

BEIJING--Auto sales in China, the world's biggest car market, accelerated in July, growing 6.7 percent to 1.62 million vehicles, an industry group said Friday.

For the first seven months of 2014, auto sales reached 13.30 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement, up 8.2 percent on the same period last year.

China has become critically important to foreign carmakers, given the size of the market and weak sales elsewhere in the world.

China's full-year auto sales hit 21.98 million vehicles last year, when a recovery in Japanese brands offset the impact of slowing economic growth.

U.S. auto maker General Motors (GM) said Wednesday that its sales increased 12.7 percent in July from the same period last year to 249,734 vehicles.

GM's China sales also rose 10.7 percent to 1.98 million vehicles in the first seven months of the year, the company said in a statement.

It also said that on Wednesday its annual sales in China, its biggest market, had reached two million vehicles for this year.

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