FILE PHOTO: Chongqing Changan Automobile’s logo on its CS75 SUV model is pictured at its booth during the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, China, April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co’s (F.N) two ventures in China have reported year-on-year sales growth for April, indicating the world’s biggest auto market has started its recovery from coronavirus-induced lows.

Ford’s main joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd (000625.SZ) sold 20,465 vehicles in April, up 38.3% from the same period a year earlier, Changan said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday.

Jiangling Motors Corp Ltd (JMC) (000550.SZ), in which Ford owns a stake, said in a filing on Thursday that it sold 28,028 vehicles in April, up 7.8%. JMC sells Ford-branded sport-utility vehicles and vans as well as JMC-branded commercial vehicles.

Ford’s China sales fell 34.9% to 88,770 vehicles in January-March. During that time, the government imposed restrictions on movement to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has led to over 4,000 deaths in world’s second-biggest economy.

China’s overall first-quarter vehicle sales fell 42%.

The two Chinese ventures of Ford rival General Motors Co (GM.N) also reported double-digit growth in April, when many of the government’s movement restrictions were relaxed.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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