China’s economy continues to grow quickly. It looks as though that, along with the slump in US car sales, likely will lead to China taking the world sales lead for cars (I would imagine for the first time ever the USA has not held this title). China 2009 Vehicle Sales May Rise 28% on Stimulus:
China has boosted auto sales this year through tax cuts and subsidies as a part of a wider 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus that has shielded the country from the worst of the global recession. U.S. sales have slumped 28 percent, pushing the old GM and Chrysler LLC into bankruptcy. Last year’s total was 13.2 million, compared with 9.4 million in China.
Partially due to the strong internal Chinese demand (and partially due to Chinese regulation) India actually exports more cars than China. 5 times as many cars are purchased in China as are bought in India.
In contrast, China’s exports slumped 60 percent to 164,800 between January and July, according to government data. Vehicles produced in Thailand for export declined 43 percent to 263,768, according to the Thai Automotive Club.
South Korean exports dropped 31 percent to 1.12 million units, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association. Japan, the world’s largest automobile producer and exporter, shipped 1.77 million cars, trucks and buses.