By on December 10, 2010

Last year in October, I predicted that China would overtake the U.S. in car sales in 2009. The comments could not haven been more uncomplimentary. By the end of 2009, China did beat the U.S. 13.6 to 10.4.

A while ago, I cautiously predicted that this year, China would break the U.S. all time record from the year 2000. The comments were far less incredulous this time around, the discussion instead turned into the tired fascist elephants against communist donkeys discourse. Now it is official what the attentive TTAC reader has known all along: China will break the current record of 17.4 million units from 2000 in the U.S.

New-car sales in China will jump about 30 percent to 18 million units this year, according to an estimate released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), reports The Nikkei [sub].

The CAAM confirms our back-of-the-envelope guesstimate from the other day: A total of 16.39 million new cars were sold in China over the first eleven months of the year, up 34.1 percent.  In December last year, more than 1.4 million cars were sold in China.  The year 2000 sales record of 17.4 million is toast.

Car ownership has grown not only in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, but also in small and midsize cities in the nation’s interior. According to The Nikkei, “a strong appetite among the middle class for cars is widely expected to push the sales figure above 20 million units in 2011.”

The former top two auto markets are falling farther and farther behind: In the U.S., 10.44 million new automobiles changed hands between January and November period. In Japan: A paltry 4.67 million.

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5 Comments on “Official: China Will Beat U.S. All Time Sales Record: 18 Million Cars This Year, More than 20 Next...”

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    1 in 6 people in this world are Chinese or 1 in 3 are either Chinese or Indian. Imagine if/when the % of Chinese that own cars ever approaches that same number in the US. Still think electric vehicles would be a niche market for some time to come? Think again.

  • avatar

    The freedom and flexibility of personal transportation is not a uniquely western desire.
    People like to go where ever they want, when ever they want.  Cars do this very well.
    Public transport has its benefits in the right environment, but it’s hard to beat the convenience of a car.

  • avatar

    I think this is fantastic news; now the Chinese can assume a lot of the responsibility, as well as a solution, for world wide global warming instead of the U.S. being the sole whipping-boy for this ongoing saga; need to throw India into the mix too.

    My other thought is, “What took China so long?” The U.S. was motoring around in two ton, 400 HP, air conditioned luxo-barges when China was mostly pulling rickshaws. It’s about time for crying out loud.  

  • avatar

    Ohhh Noooo, We are all going to die of peak oil and heat stroke!

    The Chinese had to deal with murdering socialist scum for a few decades but now they are somewhat free to be human beings again. The Chinese have had many empires and now rising again whilst Amerikans wallows in their own infantile gimme-gimme Fascist stupidities thanks to public school and TV.

  • avatar

    Demographics is killing Japan. It will never dominate again. The US is losing influence. Not permanently but it won’t dominate in the future like it has in the past. Watch for the model rollout. China only models will proliferate. You will see whole segments (Buick?) that will only exist in China and will be quite happy to do so.
    Welcome to the 21st century. Except for the ego, it’s not a problem.

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