Workers at a Volkswagen plant, in Shanghai, struggle to keep up with a market that barely felt the impact of the global economic meltdown.
U.S. sales numbers for October are due out, starting today, and initial indications suggest it could be one of the first reasonably good months – without federal assistance from the Clunkers program – since the economy began its meltdown.
But while the American market is expected to struggle for some time to come, it’s a very different story, halfway ‘round the world. China already has surged to the global sales lead, surpassing the States as the globe’s single-biggest national car market. And, if anything, demand is only growing.
Sales for the first nine months of 2009 have exceeded all of 2008, according to the latest analysis by J.D. Power and Associates, and there is little likelihood momentum will slip in the final months of the year.
Your Global News Source - Free!
Where even a single-digit gain is big news in the States, September sales, in China, were up an astounding 75%, to 1.26 million. On an annualized basis, that averages out to 14.9 million vehicles. And if the growth rate continues, it’s very possible the Chinese market could soon match the best-ever, 17-million numbers set in the U.S. earlier this decade. A far greater share, however, is made up of commercial vehicles, than in the States. Power is predicting that on the passenger vehicle side, sales next year will jump 4.6%, to 8.8 million, and that’s expected to reach 12 million by 2016.