China Jan. auto sales fall 24 pct, hit by holiday

Associated Press + More

SHANGHAI (AP) — The year of the dragon came in with a whimper instead of a roar as Chinese industry data show passenger car sales in the world's biggest auto market fell 24 percent from a year earlier.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Thursday that 1.16 million passenger cars were sold in January, down from a monthly record 1.5 million a year earlier.

It said total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, dropped 26 percent from the year before to 1.39 million.

China's weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, which usually falls in February but began in mid-January this year, was the main reason for the sharp drop.

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