China’s growing auto market helped push strong first-half sales for General Motors and Ford, AP reported. GM reported sales of its Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet brands rose by 12.7% from the same period a year ago, driven by strong growth of its Chevrolet brand, while Ford said sales rose by 21%. GM sold a total of 590,126 vehicles in the first six months of 2008 and Ford sold 172,411. Growth was slower than in 2007 when Ford posted a 30% increase in sales, but China’s auto market remained signficantly stronger than North America’s. Subsidized fuel prices in China have helped to keep demand for new cars high, with sales of SUVs and luxury sedans growing at around 100% per year.