New vehicle sales in China rose 7.7% year on year to 2.5m units in January, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

The vehicle market’s strong performance was welcomed with relief following the severe domestic financial market volatility which saw major stock indexes falling by as much as 25% last month on concerns about future economic growth.

Domestic brands reported a 16.6% rise in passenger vehicle sales last month for a market share of around 45%, helped by strong demand for compact SUVs. Overall SUV sales rose by over 60% to 784,900 units.

CAAM said it expected total vehicle sales to grow by 6% to around 26m units this year, from 24.6m units in 2015.

General Motors‘ local joint ventures saw a 7.3% rise in combined sales to 412,000 units last month, while Volkswagen group sales increased by 13.9% to 400,100 units and Ford’s sales surged 36% to 130,800 units. Nissan reported a 9.4% sales rise to 127,300 units, while Honda’s sales were up by almost 21% at 107,357 units.

Among the brands losing ground in January was Hyundai, which reported a 27% drop in sales to 75,236 units, while Kia’s sales fell by 13% to 47,250 units.