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Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Another FIRST for Obama !

  1. #1
    China monthly auto sales overtake US for 1st time


    SHANGHAI (AP) - China's monthly vehicle sales surpassed those in the United States for the first time in January, moving this country closer to becoming the world's biggest auto market, data released Tuesday showed.
    With its growing middle class and vast potential as a consumer market, China is vital for General Motors Corp., Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp. as they count on demand here to offset weakness in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    But China's ascent in the global auto market has been hastened by the plunge in U.S. auto sales, which tumbled 37 percent in January to a 26-year low of 656,976 units.

    Chinese vehicle sales also have cooled, but hardly as dramatically. In January, 735,000 vehicles were sold, down 14.4 percent from a monthly record 860,000 in January 2008, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.

    China's vehicle market has grown dramatically in recent years, overtaking Japan in 2006 to become the world's second-largest by annual sales. With 1.3 billion people, China will inevitably leapfrog the U.S., with a population of 300 million, into the No. 1 spot, industry experts say.

    Still, if American car demand revives in coming months, the United States will remain the world's largest market by annual sales—at least for another year.

    The U.S. auto market shrunk from an annual sales rate of around 16 million vehicles to 13.2 million last year. Analysts and automakers are predicting industrywide sales to drop as low as 10.5 million this year.

    In 2008, China's auto sales grew 6.7 percent to 9.38 million units—the first time growth has fallen below 10 percent since 1999.

    China's best-selling automakers are GM and Germany's Volkswagen AG but its own ambitious producers, such as Chery Automobile Co., are growing fast.

    General Motors says it sold a record 1.09 million vehicles in China last year, up 6 percent from 2007.

    January sales in China were 0.8 percent below those in December and well below the 790,000 some analysts had anticipated.

    To spur the slowing auto market here, the government has rolled out measures to help boost vehicle sales as part of a multibillion-dollar economic stimulus package while it also tries to promote cleaner, more energy-efficient engines.

    The sales tax on cars with engines less than 1.6 liters has been cut by half to 5 percent through the end of the year. The government also is spending 5 billion yuan (about $730 million) on subsidies to farmers to replace three-wheeled vehicles or outdated trucks with small, 1.3-liter or less vehicles.

    Another 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) is going into upgrading automakers' technology and developing alternative energy vehicles.

    Trucks and buses make up a larger share of China's sales than those of the United States or Japan. Some observers say that makes direct comparisons misleading. But many rural Chinese use such commercial vehicles for everyday family use.

  2. #2
    China monthly auto sales overtake US for 1st time


    SHANGHAI (AP) - China's monthly vehicle sales surpassed those in the United States for the first time in January, moving this country closer to becoming the world's biggest auto market, data released Tuesday showed.
    With its growing middle class and vast potential as a consumer market, China is vital for General Motors Corp., Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp. as they count on demand here to offset weakness in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    But China's ascent in the global auto market has been hastened by the plunge in U.S. auto sales, which tumbled 37 percent in January to a 26-year low of 656,976 units.

    Chinese vehicle sales also have cooled, but hardly as dramatically. In January, 735,000 vehicles were sold, down 14.4 percent from a monthly record 860,000 in January 2008, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.

    China's vehicle market has grown dramatically in recent years, overtaking Japan in 2006 to become the world's second-largest by annual sales. With 1.3 billion people, China will inevitably leapfrog the U.S., with a population of 300 million, into the No. 1 spot, industry experts say.

    Still, if American car demand revives in coming months, the United States will remain the world's largest market by annual sales—at least for another year.

    The U.S. auto market shrunk from an annual sales rate of around 16 million vehicles to 13.2 million last year. Analysts and automakers are predicting industrywide sales to drop as low as 10.5 million this year.

    In 2008, China's auto sales grew 6.7 percent to 9.38 million units—the first time growth has fallen below 10 percent since 1999.

    China's best-selling automakers are GM and Germany's Volkswagen AG but its own ambitious producers, such as Chery Automobile Co., are growing fast.

    General Motors says it sold a record 1.09 million vehicles in China last year, up 6 percent from 2007.

    January sales in China were 0.8 percent below those in December and well below the 790,000 some analysts had anticipated.

    To spur the slowing auto market here, the government has rolled out measures to help boost vehicle sales as part of a multibillion-dollar economic stimulus package while it also tries to promote cleaner, more energy-efficient engines.

    The sales tax on cars with engines less than 1.6 liters has been cut by half to 5 percent through the end of the year. The government also is spending 5 billion yuan (about $730 million) on subsidies to farmers to replace three-wheeled vehicles or outdated trucks with small, 1.3-liter or less vehicles.

    Another 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) is going into upgrading automakers' technology and developing alternative energy vehicles.

    Trucks and buses make up a larger share of China's sales than those of the United States or Japan. Some observers say that makes direct comparisons misleading. But many rural Chinese use such commercial vehicles for everyday family use.

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