Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2020 shows a new energy vehicle of HiPhi at the 2020 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Ding Hongfa)

BEIJING, China, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) — China’s auto sales last month rose 12.8 percent year on year to 2.57 million units as the market warmed alongside government policies to spur consumption, data from an industry association showed on Tuesday.

The rise marked the fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth. Auto sales rose 17.4 percent on a monthly basis, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

In the first three quarters, auto sales totaled 17.12 million units, down 6.9 percent year on year.

Last month, sales of passenger vehicles gained 8 percent year on year to 2.09 million units, while those of new energy vehicles (NEVs) surged 67.7 percent to 138,000 units.

China’s auto market, hit hard by COVID-19, began to recover in April thanks to unleashed pent-up demand and supportive policies.

To meet new demands generated by green consumption, China’s State Council last week approved a plan to boost the country’s NEV industry, which underlined efforts to tackle vital technologies, consolidate the construction of infrastructure including charging facilities, and strengthen international cooperation.

The data also showed China produced 2.52 million cars last month, up 14.1 percent year on year.

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