BEIJING -- China's auto sales plunged in November as a painful contraction in the biggest global market deepened for a fifth month.

An industry group, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said Tuesday sales of SUVs, sedans and minivans shrank 16 per cent from a year earlier to just under 2.2 million.

Total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, fell 19 per cent to just under 2.5 million units.

Auto demand has weakened as Chinese economic growth cooled and a tariff fight with Washington fueled uncertainty among buyers.

The slump is a setback for global automakers that are looking to China to drive revenue.