Sales growth in China continued to slow for General Motors in July while Ford posted a decline in July sales, suggesting that explosive growth in Chinese auto sales is waning.

Ford said January-July sales by its Changan Ford Sales unit rose 38% year on year to 170,053 vehicles, reflecting strong performance earlier in the year but July sales alone fell 6.3% to 18,255 vehicles, based on figures issued by the company last year, according to Dow Jones.

General Motors' July sales rose 22.2% to 176,645 vehicles but that was down from 23.2% growth in June, and 48.5% growth in the first half. In the January-to-July period, the company sold 1.39m vehicles in China, up 44.5% from the first seven months in 2009.

Auto-industry consultants JD Power & Associates said in a recent report that many stimulus measures "merely pulled forward future demand, rather than creating fresh demand." As a result, car makers now face a "payback factor" for the frenetic growth of 2009, it said.

This year, Beijing has pulled back some of last year's incentives, raising a vehicle tax to 7.5%, which is still below the traditional rate of 10%. But it also expanded the trade-in subsidy to CNY5,000-CNY18,000, from CNY3,000-CNY6,000 previously.

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