BYD's electric models attract visitors at a new energy auto expo in Beijing. (PHOTO BY A QING / FOR CHINA DAILY)

Passenger cars' retail sales reached 2.169 million units in December, in China, a year-on-year increase of 3 percent, in huge contrast to the 9.1 percent year-on-year decrease in November, according to the China Passenger Car Association on Tuesday.

The retail sales in December increased by 31.4 percent from the previous month, marking the strongest month-on-month growth since 2008.

READ MORE: China's passenger car sales surge in August

Last year, the cumulative retail sales were 20.543 million units, an increase of 1.9 percent year-on-year, and a net increase of 386,000 units year-on-year.

Since the launch of preferential policy to reduce car purchase tax, passenger car sales saw 1.452 million units of year-on-year increase from June to December, suggesting a strong contribution of the policy to the passenger car market, the association said.