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General Motors China sales rise 22.2 pc in July

SHANGHAI, Aug 3- General Motors said on Tuesday its vehicle sales in China had grown 22.2 percent year-on-year in July, while rival Ford reported a 6.3 percent decline in monthly sales in the world\’s biggest auto market.

GM and its Chinese joint ventures sold 176,645 vehicles in July and sales for the January-July period totalled 1.39 million units, an increase of 44.5 percent from the same period in 2009, a statement from the company said.

The July sales were flat compared to June\’s level of 176,486 vehicles.

Meanwhile, US rival Ford said Tuesday it had sold just 18,255 units last month in China, compared with 19,486 units the same month last year.

Ford said its sales for the first seven months of the year were 170,053 units, up 38 percent from a year earlier, boosted by strong demand for the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus.

China has proved a godsend for foreign carmakers as sales in developed countries slumped following the global financial crisis.

However, after overtaking the United States for the first time last year to become the world\’s biggest vehicle market, data shows that China\’s sales have started to slow in recent months as demand weakens.

The nation\’s auto sales in July totalled 1.06 million units, up 17.2 percent from a year earlier, but down 6.7 percent from the previous month, the official Shanghai Securities News reported Tuesday.

The newspaper cited figures from the China Automotive Technology and Research Centre, an industry association affiliated to China\’s state-owned assets watchdog.

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The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, another quasi-official industrial group, is due to release monthly sales figure next week.

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