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Chinese Auto Market Could Soon be Larger than US, Europe Combined

But skeptics warn China's boom could go bust.

by on Apr.22, 2013

The Buick Riviera Concept.

Ford and General Motors are charging forward into the past this week at the Shanghai Auto Show, reviving two once-familiar nameplates in a bid to build market share in what has become the world’s largest automotive market.

The Ford Escort and Buick Riviera are just concept vehicles for now, but both offer hints of what the two U.S. manufacturers may have in store for Chinese consumers.  Indeed, once little more than a backwater event, the Shanghai gathering is this year one of the world’s most significant car shows, with dozens of new vehicles making their global debut there.

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And for good reason – by at least one estimate, the Chinese automotive market could soon be larger than the U.S. and European markets combined. By 2022, forecast senior GM officials, sales in the People’s Republic could top 35 million annually. That’s more than double the peak hit in the American market nearly a decade ago.

No surprise, then, that Tim Lee, the president of GM’s International Operations, told reporters that, “No market is more critical than the China market for us.”


Chinese Auto Market Continues Losing Steam

U.S. likely to outpace China for 2012.

by on Sep.11, 2012

The Geely Gleagle at the recent Beijing Motor Show.

It’s been the engine that helped prop up many an automaker through the industry’s recent hard times, continuing to help European manufacturers overcome their problems at home. But there are growing signs that China’s once booming auto industry is fast losing momentum – like much of the rest of that nation’s economy.

China remains the world’s largest automotive market but data released today by the China Association of Auto Manufacturers suggests it won’t even keep pace with the U.S. market this year.  After an unexpected dip during the first quarter and a tepid recovery during the late spring and early summer, August automotive sales rose a meager 3.7%.

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That’s well below what most analysts had been forecasting – and the equivalent of a major downturn considering that for much of the past decade China’s car market grew at well into a double-digit pace, some years topping 70%.