September car sales in China rose 31% from a year earlier to 354,000 units, according to the country’s official industry association.

In the first nine months, 2.8 million cars were sold, 16.8% more than a year before, Reuters said, citing official data provided by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Vehicle sales – including everything from cars to buses and trucks – reportedly rose 13.8% to 496,000 units in September, and went up 10.1% to 4.14 million units for the first nine months.

Reuters noted that car sales in China grew only 15% in 2004 after almost doubling in 2003, hit by government-ordered credit tightening steps to cool an economy in danger of overheating.