China's 2012 auto sales rise 7.1 per cent after purchases accelerate in December

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BEIJING, China - China's auto sales rose 7.1 per cent in 2012 after an economic recovery boosted growth in December.

An industry group, the China Association of Auto Manufacturers, said Friday that 2012 passenger car sales totalled 15.5 million vehicles. Sales in December rose 6.9 per cent to 1.46 million vehicles.

China is the world's biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold, and global automakers are looking to it to drive growth.

Sales growth slowed sharply in early 2012 as the Chinese economy cooled and some cities imposed purchase restrictions to curb traffic and smog. Growth bottomed out at 3.7 per cent in August before starting to recover.

Organizations: China Association of Auto Manufacturers

Geographic location: China, BEIJING

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