China's March auto sales up 13.3 percent

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BEIJING (AP) — An industry group says China's auto sales in March rose 13.3 percent over a year earlier but Japanese automakers suffered more declines.

The China Association of Auto Manufacturers said Thursday that customers in the world's biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold bought 1.6 million cars. It said total sales including trucks and buses were just over 2 million vehicles.

The group said German and Korean automakers had sales gains of over 20 percent while Japanese automakers suffered a 17.8 percent decline overall.

Japanese automakers have been hurt by a territorial dispute between Beijing and Japan over a group of islands in the East China Sea. Analysts say sporadic protests in China have made buyers reluctant to be seen in Japanese dealerships.

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