China overtakes U.S.


For the first time, a nation has purchased more vehicles than the United States.

China has pulled ahead of the U.S. as the world’s largest market for automobiles – a title the U.S. had held for decades.

Forecasters predict more than 12 million vehicles will be sold in China by the end of the year. That number is a 44 per cent jump compared to 2008 and a few million more than the 10.3 million sales expected south of the border, says J.D. Power and Associates.

Many feel it was only a matter of time until the U.S. was overtaken by the Asian economic powerhouse. With a population of roughly 1.3 billion, China also enjoyed favourable tax cuts and a stimulus program in 2009 to help it earn the sales title.

Original predictions pegged this happening closer to the 2025 mark, but the depressed U.S. economy, coupled with automaker troubles and a population at a little over 308 million people made the title ripe for the taking.

- With files from The Canadian Press