China officially overtakes US as world's largest car market
10 February 2009

China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest car market, despite suffering a 14 per cent drop in new car sales.

A total of 735,500 vehicles were sold in China during January, but US sales were significantly worse; the market there fell by 37 per cent to 656,693 units.

The Chinese market has seen enormous growth over the past 10 years, with a five-fold increase in vehicle sales.

The Chinese government has also made attempts to boost its car industry by halving taxes on small cars, reducing fuel prices and eliminating road tolls.

China has potentially four times more car buyers than either the US or the EU. But the US still has a much larger consumer economy and it is expected by many to retake the top spot once economic conditions improve.

George Barrow

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