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China auto sales down from record high

Source:   Time:

BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- China's automobile sales fell in February from a record high in January, with sales of home-brand passenger cars dropping sharply, Monday data showed.

Sales amounted to 1.6 million units last month, down 26 percent from January, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said in a statement.

Production dropped 21.7 percent from a month earlier to 1.64 million units, the statement said.

Chinese-brand passenger cars sold some 503,700 units in February, diving by 29 percent month on month.

Home brands accounted for 38.4 percent of China's passenger car market, almost flat month on month, yet down 4.6 percentage points from the same period last year, the sixth consecutive decline since last September.

Chinese auto makers exported 53,700 units in February, dropping by 21.7 percent from January.

But on a year-on-year basis, China's auto industry still maintained strong growth, with sales up 17.8 percent and production surging 21.5 percent.

"China's auto industry faces great challenges, including strained resources and energy, environmental protection, traffic congestion and enterprises' weak innovation capacity," said Dong Yang, CAAM's secretary-general.

China has been the world's largest auto market and producer for five consecutive years, with sales and production both exceeding 20 million units for the first time in 2013.

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