Passenger car sales increased 15.4% from a year earlier, as government subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles and bigger dealer discounts drove growth, state media reported, citing an announcement made by the China Automotive Technology & Research Center (CATARC) on Monday. Combined sales of cars including sedans, sport utility vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles reached 822,300 units in July, a 4.5% higher sales growth than June. The government announced last month it would offer US$443 subsidies to promote the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles. The 71 fuel-efficient vehicles from 16 carmakers that are eligible for subsidies reached total sales of 57,353 units in July, an 12% jump from the previous month. Still, CATARC also said it expects vehicles sales will slow in August because it isn’t a prime sales season and dealers’ high inventory may also weaken demand.