Cars on display at the Guangzhou 2013 Auto Show last week. Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — China’s auto sales growth accelerated to 13.9 percent in May but domestic brands lagged and their market share shrank.

An industry group, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said Tuesday that consumers bought 1.6 million passenger vehicles in May.

Sales for January-May were up 11.1 percent to 8.1 million vehicles.

Sales growth in China, the biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold, has cooled steadily since peaking above 40 percent in 2009. Sales are forecast to grow by 8 to 10 percent this year.

The CAAM said passenger vehicle sales by Chinese brands rose 5.4 percent, lagging overall market growth. Their market share declined 2.9 percentage points from a year ago to 36.5 percent.

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