China's motor-vehicle industry beat expectations for September and data showed another month of double-digit growth.

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, sales grew by 12.8% year on year last month with more than 2.57 million units sold.

The increase in sales - for a fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth - was attributed to a response to government policies aimed at increasing consumption. Association data showed that the average growth of sales over the past five months was at 17.4%.

Over the past three quarters sales were 17.12 million units. This is 6.9% lower compared with the same period last year. Growth slowed during the first quarter after the pandemic hit China. The market started to recover in April - with pent-up demand and policies spurring consumers to purchase new vehicles.

For September, sales of passenger vehicles increased by 8% when compared with the same period last year to 2.09 million units. Meanwhile, sales of new energy vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, hydrogen-powered vehicles and electric cars, jumped by 67.7% to 138,000 units.

Sales of NEVs continued to grow despite the pandemic thanks to government support. Last week, China's State Council approved plans to help the NEV industry. These included support for infrastructure, more charging stations and international collaboration.

Demand for commercial vehicles rose 40% year on year to 477,000 units. The increase was attributed to the government's increased spending on vehicles to support infrastructure projects.

Continued support for promotional events, such as the recent Beijing Auto Show, also helped growth. September and October, often referred to as "Golden September" and "Silver October," are typically the highpoint for sales.

"Based on our dealer channel checks, the growth in momentum extended into the October Golden Week, as retail sales exceeded dealers' expectations," analysts at Haitong International said in a report.