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GM announces record China vehicle sales in October

The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Lansing, Michigan October 26, 2015. Photo taken October 26. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

BEIJING (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) said vehicle sales in China rose 15 percent to a record monthly high in October, underpinned by the Chinese government's decision to cut taxes for smaller cars.

The company said retail sales in the first 10 months of 2015 climbed 2.9 percent from a year earlier to 2.8 million units, also a record.

The result provides a bright spot for China's auto market which has struggled due to an economic slowdown in the world's second largest economy.

"The recently announced government incentive for vehicle purchases helped boost buying sentiment starting in October," Matt Tsien, GM's China President said in a press release published by the company on its website on Thursday.

China has introduced a slew of supportive policies, including halving the sales tax to 5 percent on cars with 1.6-litre engines or smaller, to boost auto sales. The changes came into effect from Oct 1.

Other major global automakers, including Japanese automotive manufacturer Honda also posted double-digit sales last month.

Automobiles in the 1.6 liter and under category account for nearly 70 percent of total sales in the country.

(Reporting By Winni Zhou and Nicholas Heath; Editing by Michael Perry)