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Japanese automakers keep up speed in China

Staff Writer |
Top Japanese automakers' China sales surged ahead in August despite sluggish growth for the market as a whole, propelled by new sport utility vehicles and perennially popular compacts.

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Honda Motor's sales climbed 20.6% on the year to 128,671 vehicles, the company said, marking the eighth straight month of year-on-year gains and the seventh of double-digit growth.

Sales of the XR-V SUV rose 28% to 17,300 units, making it the top seller for Honda.

Fresh offerings such as the latest Avancier and UR-V SUVs also helped propel business.

The flagship Civic sedan sped off the lot as usual, with sales rising 67% to 14,315 units.

Toyota Motor logged its seventh straight month of growth, with sales rising 13.2% to 108,500 vehicles.

The Corolla compact led the pack with sales of 29,000 units, 7% more than a year earlier. Efforts to enhance sales through regional auto shows seem to have paid off, with expos in Chengdu and elsewhere helping lift August's results.

Mazda Motor saw sales grow 8.4% to 25,612 autos in the seventh straight month of gains. The Mazda3 continued to drive that growth, with sales increasing 2% to 11,384 units.

China's overall auto market has lost speed of late, showing only 4% year-on-year sales growth for the first seven months of 2017.

Sales of European and American cars have been particularly sluggish, and South Korea's Hyundai Motor has seen its sales drop far below the year-earlier level.

But Japan's leading makers seem to have plenty of gas left in the tank.

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