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Millennials and premium models help lift Geely in China

Volkwagen stays No. 1 as world's largest car market hankers for luxury

SUVs like this one designed by Geely's latest nameplate, Lynk & Co., were hot sellers in China last year. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

BEIJING -- Total car sales may be slumping in China as consumers fret about a slowing economy and the consequences of the trade war with the U.S., but premium and luxury models appear to be bucking the trend.

Auto sales in China shrank in 2018 for the first time in 28 years, but Zheijiang Geely Holding Group moved up the ranks of market share, overtaking Japanese rivals along the way, according to a report by U.K.-based research company LMC Automotive. The Chinese group was helped by demand for the range from premium car maker Volvo, acquired in 2010. The rise in market share was also driven by Chinese drivers' appetite for SUVs, retaliatory tariffs on imports from America and steps the group has taken to cater to the ride-sharing sector.

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