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China's auto sales cool, local brands squeezed

Friday - 4/11/2014, 6:00am  ET

BEIJING (AP) -- China's growth in auto sales decelerated further in March and local brands lost market share in the face of intense foreign competition.

An industry group said Friday that sales of passenger vehicles rose 6.6 percent to 2.2 million, down from February's 11.3 percent growth.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said sales of Chinese domestic brands contracted by 2.3 percent to 672,00 vehicles. It said their market share shrank by 4.1 percentage points from a year earlier to 39.3 percent.

General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and other global auto brands are looking to China to drive sales and are spending heavily to suit local tastes.

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