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Honda, Toyota post over 11% jump in China sales

Japanese automakers take on sluggish market by focusing on compact models

GUANGZHOU -- Japan's Honda Motor and Toyota Motor both enjoyed double-digit growth on the year in auto sales in China last month, thanks to the success of smaller vehicles and despite a downturn in the overall market.

Honda sold 113,803 vehicles in the country in July, up 11.6% on the year and marking its sixth straight month of double-digit growth. Its XR-V compact sport utility vehicle was the most popular, with unit sales rising 30% to 18,320. The tally for its second-most popular Civic compact climbed even more dramatically, by 92% to 16,299 units. For the January-July period, sales jumped 17.6% on the year to 757,970 vehicles.

Toyota posted a 11.4% increase in sales to 108,900 vehicles. Its two most popular models for the month were also smaller vehicles, with unit sales for the Corolla surging 18% to 31,000, and Corolla Levin sales advancing 6% to 13,800.

Both automakers found success by improving their smaller models. Honda has also aggressively expanded its lineup by releasing the updated Avancier and UR-V SUVs.

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