General Motors on Monday reportedly said continued market recovery from the COVID-19 crisis helped its China vehicle sales grow 12% on year in July-September, its first quarterly sales growth in the country in two years.

According to Reuters, the second largest foreign automaker in China by unit sales, after Volkswagen, said it delivered 771,400 vehicles in China in the third quarter. That followed a 5% fall in the second quarter when parts of China were still emerging from lockdown.

Sales rose 26% year on year for cars under the mass market Buick brand while those of premium brand Cadillac jumped 28%, GM said in a statement cited by Reuters. Sales of the mass market Chevrolet marque fell 20%.

Sales of no frills Wuling grew 26% while those of mass market Baojun fell 19%.

"GM's compact models returned to four cylinder engines and that helped sales growth," LMC Automotive senior analyst Alan Kang told Reuters, referring to an attempt to market cleaner but noisier three cylinder versions. "Cadillac also has a more complete lineup this year."

Reuters noted China's biggest automakers' association expects overall car sales to grow by double digits year on year in July-September. Makers such as Toyota, Honda and Geely saw sales jump in the just ended quarter.

Reuters noted GM's China sales fell 15% year on year in 2019 to 3.09m vehicles. The automaker delivered 3.65m in 2018 and 4.04m in 2017.