New vehicle sales in China increased by 6.7% to 1.62 million units in July, from strong year-earlier volumes of 15.2 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Passenger car sales increased by 9.7% year-on-year to 1.36 million units, from 1.24 million units previously, while commercial vehicle sales rose by 8.4% to 0.26 million units.

Cumulative seven-month sales increased by 8.2% to 13.3 million units, from 12.3 million units in the same period of last year.

The association now expects vehicle sales to rise by 8.3% to 23.8 million units in 2014, from 22.0 million units last year.

In July, General Motors and its joint ventures sold a total of 249,734 vehicles in China, up 12.7% year-on-year. Shanghai-GM's domestic sales rose 6.6% to 120,734 units; SAIC-GM-Wuling sales increased by 20.3% to 125,895 units; while FAW-GM's sales declined by 4.1% to 3,105 units.

Audi sales increased by 9.8% to 131,300 vehicles in July, while VW has yet to release its sales for the month.

Japanese brands fared less well in July, with Nissan reporting a 12.3% drop in sales to 79,500 units; Toyota's sales fell by 1.1% to 74,800 units; while Honda's sales were 22.7% lower at 39,543 units.