China’s rocketing passenger car making industry is now the world’s largest by a significant margin. Nearly 18 million cars were made in China last year, well ahead of the EU’s production total of 14.6m.
According to figures just released by the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA), while EU production remained almost flat between 2012 and 2013, China overtook the EU in 2012 and continued climbing throughout last year.
Collectively, the so-called BRIC group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) now produces 39.6 per cent of the world’s cars, but China is responsible for making 27.6 per cent of them. India (4.8 per cent), Brazil (4.2 per cent) and Russia (2.9 per cent) are minnows by comparison.
In 2002, China’s fledgling car industry built around one million cars, but by 2006 China had matched the United States’ automotive output of just over four million cars.
While nearly every other car making nation saw a drop in production in the wake of the 2008 global credit crunch, China’s car industry enjoyed its most dramatic period of growth, rising up from just under seven million units in 2008 to just over 14m units by the end of 2010.
ACEA figures from 2012 revealed that 2.2m people across the EU are directly involved in the production of all types of motor vehicles, with a total of 12.7m employed across the entire supply chain. This accounts for 5.8 per cent of all people employed in the EU.
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