Car sales in China declined 23.8% in January compared with a year earlier, the largest monthly fall in more than three years, due largely to the early timing of the Lunar New Year holiday in 2012, Reuters reported. A total of 1.16 million sedans, sport utility vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles were sold in the country in January, compared with 1.37 million cars in December, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Thursday. The 15-day Spring Festival holiday fell January this year instead of February, meaning January sales were measured against a high base of comparison. Sales are likely to regain momentum in February due to weak year-ago sales, when the monthly tally was well below the one million mark. Growth in China’s car market cooled to 5.2% last year, down from 53% in 2009 and 33% in 2010, as tax incentives expired and authorities launched initiatives aimed at easing congestion. Most analysts expect growth of 5-10% in the coming year.