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General Motors sales in China in the first eight months of 2009 rose 49.6% year on year to 1,111,401 units.

This compares with US sales down over 35% to 1,381,583 year to date.

GM said its Chinese joint ventures benefited from record August domestic sales, which rose 112.7% year on year to 152,365 units.

“We are now looking at a market of 11.5 to 12m vehicles, up from 9.1m units last year,” said GM China group president and managing director Kevin Wale.  “We expect GM sales for the year as a whole to rise by more than 40% from 2008.

Buick sales last month were up 102.8% to 38,905 units, while Chevrolet sales reached a monthly record of 23,771 units, up 99.4%.

SAIC-GM-Wuling more than doubled its domestic sales, with growth of 122.6% from last August to 88,711 units. Its Wuling Sunshine minivan remained the overall market leader, as monthly sales reached 49,298 units.