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China's January auto sales rise 46 percent

China's January auto sales rise 46 percent on pre-Lunar New Year shopping, strong SUV demand

Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) -- China's auto sales rose 46 percent in January to a new monthly record on strong demand for SUVs in pre-Lunar New Year shopping.

An industry group said customers bought just over 2 million vehicles last month in China, the world's biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold.

The figures probably were boosted as customers hurried to finish shopping before businesses closed for next week's Lunar New Year holiday. That is likely to depress February sales.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers says sales of sport utility vehicles rose 90.5 percent to 240,700 while those of basic passenger vehicles rose 48.9 percent to just under 1.2 million.

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