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China Now the World’s Second Largest Auto Market

People’s Daily. Statistics from the China Automotive Industry Association (CAIA) indicate that China has surpassed Japan as the second-largest auto market in the world, behind the US.

The total number of automobiles sold in the Chinese market reached more than 5.9 million in 2005, outstripping the 5.8 million of the Japanese market. Of those, 5.76 million were produced domestically, the remainder were imports.

Sales have risen dramatically from the 2.73 million units sold in 2001. As a percentage of global sales, China now represents 8.7%, up from 4.3% in 2001. Furthermore, in 2005, China accounted for 23.2% of the total global growth.

Xu Changming, director of Information Resources Department with the State Information Center, believes that the high-speed growth of the passenger vehicles last year benefited mainly from the expansion into regional markets.

In 2005, the auto sales in the secondary regional market in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Guangdong were up by about 40% while the sales in the tertiary markets of Hebei, Henan, Liaoning, Sichuan, Fujian, Guanxi, Shanxi, Yunnan and Tianjin grew by 50%.

Auto sales by domestic producers increased by 40.3% in the first 11 months of last year, nearly twice the sales growth of 21.3% per cent of Sino-foreign joint ventures. Of the domestic producers, the sales of Chery autos were close to 190,000 units, ranking the sixth among the sedan makers in the country, an increase of more than 110%.

Sales of commercial vehicles declined by 0.75%, influenced, according to CAIA, by the business cycle, rising oil prices and policy factors. The CAIA expects that the auto market will maintain a 10% to 15% growth in 2006, with sales reaching between 6.4 and 6.6 million units.

The top three automakers in China are First Automotive works (FAW), Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and Dongfeng Motor Corporation, which sold 983,100, 917,500 and 729,000 cars in 2005 respectively.

Sales of vehicles in China from GM and its joint ventures jumped 35% in 2005 to 665,390 units. GM ended the year with an estimated market share of 11.2% in this second-largest global market.


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