Chinese carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings reportedly said on Thursday sales at its two associates rose 29.2% in January from December, partly because it completed a research and development centre and sales and supply network.

According to Reuters, Geely, which makes low-priced cars for the world's fastest-growing market, said its two 46.8%-owned associates sold 10,350 units in January, without giving a comparison figure for the same month in 2004.

The firm reportedly said in a statement that the associates expect to produce and sell 120,000 to 140,000 units of the Geely and Maple sedans this year, including 10,000 for export.

Geely also said its two associates sold 27,594 units and 66,057 units of the Geely and Maple sedans in 2003 and 2004 respectively, the report added.

Reuters noted that China's car industry saw its growth slow dramatically last year after Beijing tightened credit and cracked down on rapid investment in industries such as vehicles.