BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) -- China's auto sales grew again in June after two months of decline, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed Tuesday.
Some 2.2 million vehicles were sold last month, up 4.5 percent year on year, compared with a 0.1 percent decline in May and a 2.2 percent drop in April.
Meanwhile, 2.2 million vehicles were produced in June, up 5.4 percent from the same period last year, according to the CAAM.
Sales of passenger cars climbed 2.3 percent to 1.8 million vehicles last month, 2.2 percentage points slower than the overall growth.
But both production and sales in new energy vehicles (NEVs) were particularly robust, with 59,000 NEVs sold in June, up 33 percent year on year, while 65,000 NEVs were produced, up 43.4 percent.
In the first six months, total auto output and sales increased by 4.6percent and 3.8 percent year on year to 13.5 million and 13.4 million vehicles, respectively, a slowdown from the the growth in the same period last year.
Some 195,000 NEVs were sold during the six-month period, up 14.4 percent from the first half of 2016, while 212,000 NEVs were produced, up 19.7 percent.
The tepid auto market was partly a result of a higher sales tax, which was raised to 7.5 percent this year.
In October 2015, China slashed the sales tax on cars with engines of 1.6 liters or below from 10 percent to 5 percent, helping increase total auto sales to a record high of 28.03 million last year.
The tax rate will return to 10 percent again in 2018, according to the government.
China has had the world's largest car market for eight consecutive years.