Vehicle production in China totaled 1,674,177 units in June, up 9.2%, but it was the smallest year-over-year increase in four months.

The moderating growth rate reflects diminishing vehicle demand and plummeting consumer confidence as the country’s overall economy slows.

June production was down 6.1% from May, marking the lowest monthly output since February.

Light-vehicle production rose 7.7% to 1,573,874 in the month, with cars and light trucks posting increases of 8.2% and 7.1%, respectively. Medium/heavy trucks continued to flourish, jumping 42.2%, while buses climbed 19.7% to 17,782, the highest monthly volume for the segment since December 2012.

Shanghai GM’s Buick Excelle led June output with 43,070 units, accounting for 2.6% of total builds. FAW-Volkswagen’s Jetta followed with 38,152.

FAW-VW laid claim to the overall top spot among auto makers with 128,047 vehicles, outpacing second-place Shanghai GM by about 3,000 units.

Changan Mazda began local production of the Mazda CX-5 cross/utility vehicle in June. The CX-5 currently is imported and sold at a higher price than the locally produced version will be. The CUV will be available with two engine types, and will compete with vehicles such as the Ford Kuga and Honda CR-V.

Through first-half 2013, China produced 10,751,679 vehicles, up 12.8% from like-2012.

hrowe@wardsauto.com