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China’s automobile production and sales saw slower growth in the first half of 2015, an industry report showed Friday.

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Auto production rose 2.64 percent year on year to 120.95 million units in the first six months, while sales increased 1.43 percent to 118.5 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said in a statement.

The January-June growth rates decelerated by 6.96 and 6.93 percentage points respectively from the same period last year, according to the CAAM.

The association attributed the slower growth in H1 mainly to the slower growth in passenger car output and sales.

Passenger car output jumped 6.38 percent to 103.28 million units in H1, while sales rose 4.8 percent to 100.96 million units, with the growth rates dropping 5.67 and 6.38 percentage points respectively from the same period in 2014.

In June alone, auto output and sales declined for the third consecutive month by 0.22 percent and 2.31 percent year on year to reach 1.85 million units and 1.8 million units, respectively.

New energy vehicles — pure electric and hybrid electric cars — outperformed their peers in the first half, registering 250- and 240-percent growth year on year both in output and sales to reach 76,223 units and 72,711 units, respectively.

The economic slowdown, fierce competition and purchase quota policies in first-tier cities were cited by industry experts as reasons for the auto market contraction.

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