) -- Auto companies

General Motors

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announced lackluster China sales results for April, indicating that demand in the overseas auto market may be waning.

Ford said its April sales rose 3% from the year-earlier period to 44,340 units, which represents the lowest monthly growth rate so far in 2011, while GM reported its first-ever decline in sales in the month.

GM said it

sold 203,367 vehicles in China in April

. While it didn't provide the year-prior performance, data it issued last year shows that April sales dropped 4.6% from the year earlier, and declined 12.7% from March.

Last year, China's overall auto sales spiked 32.4% to a record 18.06 million, helping make the country the largest vehicle market in the world for the second consecutive year.

However, most automakers, as well as the semi-official industry group China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, predicted earlier this year that China's auto sales growth would slow to around 10% this year.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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