July passenger car sales in China leapt over 70% ahead of the same month last year, local data showed.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said sales were up 70.54% with 832,600 passenger cars sold in the month. The figure compared to July 2008 sales of 488,200.

That was, however, short of the 872,900 units sold in June.

Sales of cars in China continue to deliver regular good news for an otherwise embattled auto industry.

Earlier this week, Ford's Chinese joint venture said it had sold over 50% more vehicles in July than in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, General Motors said its July sales in China surged almost 78% year on year to 144,593 units.