China's auto sales surpassed the United States' again in July, jumping 63.57% over a year earlier to 1.09 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said on Friday.

The auto sales were boosted by tax cuts and government subsidies, according to data released. It was the fifth month in a row that China's auto sales exceeded one million in a rapid growth rate.

Sales of passenger cars in China topped 832,600 units, up 70.54% year-on-year, the CAAM said.

Customers in the United States bought 997,824 cars and light trucks in July, according to research firm Autodata Corp.

China's July sales raise its total for the first seven months of 2009 to 7.2 million vehicles, while U.S. passenger car sales totaled 5.8 million.

China, with 1.3 billion people, has long been expected to overtake the United States as the biggest vehicle market. But the US economic slump hastened that process by depressing American sales while China surged ahead.

Global automakers are looking to China to help drive revenues as they struggle with falling demand in North American and other markets.

China's auto sales weakened in late 2008 as the global financial crisis hit but rebounded after Beijing launched a stimulus package with sales tax cuts, subsidies to trade in older cars and other incentives.