By on January 10, 2011

It’s official: China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) announced that in 2010, Chinese bought 18,061,900 vehicles, an increase of 32.37 percent over 2009. Automobile production rose to 18,264,700 units, an increase of 32.44 percent.

As predicted several times, China handily broke the world record of annual sales, established by the U.S.A. way back in 2000 with sales of 17.4 million units.

In December alone, China produced about 1.86 million vehicles and sold nearly 1.67 million units. Just to put it in perspective: In one month, China made approximately the same number of cars that were sold in the U.K. in the whole year.

China will hold on to that record for the foreseeable future. With 11.69 million cars sold in 2010, the U.S. is now a bit more than half the size of the Chinese market. Even if most optimistic predictions should materialize, the U.S. won’t get close.

The headlines will undoubtedly center on how China’s growth is expected to slow in 2011. Reuters gives an example. Keep in mind: Percentage growth is a nasty animal. Even if China’s growth slows to 10 to 15 percent in 2011,  the total will be more than 20 million this year.

The CAAM also expects growth of 10 to 15 percent in 2011. They think that the market will fluctuate a bit in the first quarter or two until the changes in government incentives have worked themselves out of the market. According to the CAAM, domestic brands had 45.6 percent of the passenger vehicle market in China in 2010, up slightly from 44.3 percent in 2009. Passenger vehicles with engines of 1.6 liters or smaller accounted for 68.9 percentof passenger vehicle sales in 2010, boosted by incentive policies, CAAM Deputy Secretary General Zhu Yiping said in a news conference today. The CAAM is not worried about overcapacity in China.

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9 Comments on “New World Record: China Sells And Makes 18 Million Vehicles In 2010...”


  • avatar

    Apropos China, I was shocked to find how popular Chinese cars are in Russia. Toyota has more to worry than Hyundai.

  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    “Chinese bought 18,061,900 vehicles”
    “Automobile production rose to 18,264,700 units”
    So there is grossly only 200K exports, there is still much margin for increases in production, even if Chinese consumption gradually slows in the future.

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    The dearth of comments speaks volumes here.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Just curious if the weights shown being lifted in pic were made of scrapped USA cars shredded and shipped to China.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    let me be a doubting thomas and ask about cost per transaction
    if the majority are 1.0 liter $8,000 Cherys and the like…

    • 0 avatar

      Sure. And people who can’t show a taxable income above $50,000 on the last three returns shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin L. Copple

      That’s a relevant point, TonyJZX.  A lot of vehicles sold in China are even smaller and cheaper than a Chery.  And compared to the US market, nearly all with far less pollution control, safety, features, etc.  This China market sales statistic is largely an apples to oranges thing.  Of course, I could say that in comparing any two countries, but still . . .  

      I’m curious to see an a comparison of the total dollar value of the two markets. It will be a while before the China market catches the USA there.

      Rather than the taxpaying voter analogy, I’d say compare McDonald’s smallest hamburger to a “Royale with Cheese.” A million of one just aint the same as a million of the other.


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