China's auto sales accelerated in September, propelled by surging demand for SUVs and lower-priced Chinese brands.

An industry group, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said Wednesday that sales of cars, minivans and SUVs rose 28.9 percent over a year earlier to 2.3 million, up from August's 26.3 percent growth. Total vehicle sales including trucks and buses rose 26.1 percent to 2.6 million.

Chinese auto demand plunged last year but rebounded following a sales tax cut. Analysts expect sales growth to drop back to single digits when that cut expires at the end of the year.

Sales of SUVs soared 54.2 percent to 879,000. Sales of lower-priced Chinese brands grew faster than the market, expanding 39.1 percent to 975,000 vehicles.