Toyota and Honda both set new sales records in China last year after 2012 volume was dampened by anti-Japanese boycotts over a territorial dispute.

Toyota's two joint ventures in China boosted sales 9.2% year on year to a combined 917,500 vehicles, reported on Monday.

But that growth rate was much less than Ford's 49% surge to a record 935,813 units.

Volkswagen and General Motors - both long established in China - booked sales of over 3m units each. Sales data to the end of November suggested VW narrowly won, said.

Honda boosted Chinese sales 26% to 756,882 units, boosted by the launch of an updated locally made Accord sedan late in the year, lifting December sales alone 60%.