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GM's China sales post first drop in 6 months
General Motors reported its first drop in China sales in six months as purchases slowed during the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday.

Deliveries to Chinese dealers fell 8 percent to 246,654 vehicles in January, from 268,071 a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. This year's holiday extended from Jan. 23 to Jan. 29 and marked the start of the year of the dragon.

"People and workers are leaving for their hometowns, families are going on holiday," said Namrita Chow, Shanghai- based analyst at IHS Automotive. "This reduces the number of people looking to buy cars."

GM, which regained its global sales crown from Toyota Motor Corp. last year, is counting on the world's biggest vehicle market to help protect its lead as Japanese carmakers rebound from a year of natural disasters.

The company plans to focus on expanding its luxury car brand Cadillac and its sport-utility vehicle lineup in China to double deliveries in the country by 2015.

The Lunar holiday, like Thanksgiving or Christmas in the United States, is among the biggest selling periods in China and parts of Asia.

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