Chinese auto sales rose by nearly 10 percent in March, led by strong demand for SUVs that more than offset slipping passenger car sales, an industry group said Tuesday.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said that 2.06 million sedans, SUVs and minivans were sold last month in the world's biggest auto market. That's 9.8 percent higher than the same month last year. The group said sales of sport-utility vehicles rose by nearly half and minivan sales increased nearly 18 percent. Sedan sales, however, dipped 3.3 percent.
Total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, rose 8.8 percent to 2.4 million. China's auto sales growth has been cooling since it peaked at 45 percent in 2009 but the country remains a key market for global automakers, which are relying on Chinese consumers' growing appetite for driving to power revenue.