Car sales surged in the U.S. last year, as the automotive industry
came roaring back from the dark days of the recession. But the 15.6
million vehicles sold in America last year still lags behind
China, which in 2013 reportedly
became the first country to sell more than 20 million.
Association of Automobile Manufacturers says those 2013 sales
figures are a 14 percent increase over 2012's data. And a new report
Automotive expects passenger vehicle sales in the People's Republic
to rise further in 2014, as global and domestic automakers vie for the lucrative national
to IHS, sedans saw the largest growth by volume in China last year,
reaching 7.3 million units and accounting for nearly 47 percent of
the nation's passenger vehicle market.
top-selling passenger vehicle in China last year was the Ford (F)
Focus, with sales of nearly 403,000 units, up 36.2 percent year-to-year. The
next best-selling model was the Volkswagen Lavida, followed by the
Buick Excelle, produced by General Motors (GM).
Volkswagen claims the title of top brand in China by volume sales
last year. IHS says the German automaker sold nearly 2.4 million
units in China in 2013, up 16.9 percent from a year ago. South Korea's
Hyundai was next in sales, followed by Japanese automakers Toyota
(TM) and Nissan,
with GM in fifth position.
the carmakers expect even more growth. The website China Briefing, which focuses on business information from
the People's Republic, reports that car ownership remains relatively low
in China, with about 120 million cars in a country of 1.4 billion
people - or less than 100 cars for every 1,000 persons.
that to the U.S., which according to some estimates about 800
vehicles for every 1,000 persons, although other reports say
that number is actually much higher.
those working in the auto industry, the only country they should know
where sales are still robust is China," Hubertus Troska, president
of Daimler China, told China Briefing.
Automotive says international automakers are creating
models specifically for the China market. And Japanese companies such
as Toyota, Honda (HMC)
and Nissan are making a concentrated push to capture more of the
Chinese auto market by expanding their brands and increasing market
Despite this push, there may be one thing that can kill Chinese
consumers' new love affair with cars -- the nation's growing air
recent years... cars have become so popular that they are evolving
from aspirational symbols of the good life to a daily necessity,"
Daily editor Wan Lixin wrote in a recent column published by the
Xinhua news agency.
Wan also criticized recent attempts by some Chinese officials to
downplay the significance of auto emissions in China's
growing air pollution crisis.
China's importance to major carmakers and Chinese dependence on
cars," he added, "any proposal to discourage car use, if broached
at all, must be tactfully watered down so as not to incur bad
latest attempt at whitewashing cars came at a time of wholesale
environmental degradation, particularly damning in the form of
pervasive smog," Wan continued. "There is a crying need for
prompt and collective action in addressing the issue."