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UPDATE 1-China's auto sales surged 30% in Jan, tenth straight monthly gain

(Adds figures for new energy vehicles)

SHANGHAI, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Auto sales in China, the world’s biggest market, surged in January with a 30% jump from the same month a year earlier, the tenth month of gains, as China continued to lead the global automobile industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sales reached 2.5 million vehicles in January, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), including battery-powered electric vehicles, plug-in petrol-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, increased 239% in January to 179,000 units.

NEV makers such as homegrown Nio Inc and Xpeng Inc as well as foreign groups, such as Tesla Inc, are expanding manufacturing capacity in China where the government has promoted greener vehicles to reduce air pollution. (Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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