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Most of the world has been knee deep in a wicked recession for quite a while, and auto sales have been hit especially hard. Here in the U.S., the numbers have been abysmal, as the first half of the year saw only 4.8 million sales through June. China, on the other hand, is running away with the overall sales lead, as the emerging emerged market has added 6.1 million cars and trucks to its still developing roadways. According to The Associated Press, June sales were up 36% over the same period in 2008, and they're up 17% on the year.

The big winner in the market so far this year appears to be General Motors. The struggling Detroit, MI-based automaker has seen its China sales jump by 38% this year; while its U.S. sales have tanked. Industry analysts are predicting that the overall market for passenger cars in China will be between 10 and 11 million units.

Most experts weren't expecting China to pass the U.S. in overall sales for another decade, but the crumbling American auto industry has expedited the power shift, at least for the short term. With 1.3 billion people and a healthy economy, this day was destined to come.

[Source: The Associated Press via Google]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I give it 5 years before China surpasses America in Economy as well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think five years is optimistic, but it'll almost certainly happen within the next thirty years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Five years is incredibly optimistic. While China is the third largest economy in the world, just recently passing Germany, the US still has four times the economy of China. Realistically, China will surpass Japan in a few years.
      • 6 Years Ago
      America's protectionism has more latent defect that you don;t know.

      the whole world is the same, just publicize in different way

      well , US got CNN to conceal contradictions. lol
      • 6 Years Ago
      4 times the people man, Can't beat that =P
      • 6 Years Ago
      I remember well the images of Beijing in the early 1980's. Boulevards filled with thousands bicycles a few buses and very few automobiles. Fast forward three decades and the United States is now rushing to emulate 1980 Beijing.

      I guess the good news out of this reversal of fortune is, in thirty years bicycle bound Americans will have become slim and healthy while our auto obsessed Chinese comrades will have become obese, stroke-prone cardiac basket cases.
      • 6 Years Ago
      At least they are buying American....
        • 6 Years Ago
        ... from Korea and Germany.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Congratulations fellow autoblogers we have a new troll. Meet Aznauto, a quick look through his past comments will revel he has a Shanghai fetish and is a staunch Asian supremacist. I’ve seen them before on Youtube. English speaking sinophiles that roam English speaking websites and go mental at the faintest hint of any criticism of China. This should be fun, but he might make us miss Sea Urchin. BTW, those American branded cars still send a majority of profits back to the U.S., just like the Toyota and BMW plants here and the 8% growth in the Chinese economy is unsustainable. We had that in the 20’s and the Japanese in the 80’s we all know what happened in those cases.
        • 6 Years Ago

        The reason China has become a powerhouse is because of other countries recognizing Chinese labor was cheap as dirt. In the long run, as the cost of living increases and employees want higher wages, manufacturing will move to other low-income countries like India. This is just the way economics works. The best thing for China is to continue to diversify as it is doing and it will build a long-term growth economy.

        At the same time, I would recommend not bashing the U.S. - Americans buy chinese manufactured products, but not one of the 100+ Chinese auto-manufacturers is selling anything in the U.S. yet. In addition, the companies that most people purchase from here are U.S., Canadian, European or Japanese based. Other than Ming's Dragon down the street (which is owned by a Chinese-American) most folks can't tell you one Chinese owned "company".

        Sooooo, until one of the many knock-off brands makes its way over here and can start innovating and making a name for itself outside of the borders of China...well, you know what to do.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Cougs is pretty much right on - There are only a couple Chinese-owned companies selling consumer products in the US that I know of, one of them being Lenovo.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No one in China buys products made in America which are typically bad in quality and expensive, Coke, Buick etc products sold there are built in China. There is reason why China is manufacturing power house where as America can't even built competitive car. When is the last time you bought anything made in America. Hopefully America military realizes this as well and Lockheed and Boeing start building in China.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The only thing surprising here is the timeframe. It's obvious where the future of the car industry is but this came much sooner than thought.

      When GM is really gone theres bound to be a tidal shift in the industry probably like never seen before.
      • 6 Years Ago
      if you ask anyone from the "china" map up there they'll say taiwan is part of china
        • 6 Years Ago
        Most from the "US" in the map up there would also claim Alaska and Hawaii as their own.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Quote: "and the 8% growth in the Chinese economy is unsustainable. We had that in the 20’s and the Japanese in the 80’s we all know what happened in those cases."

      By the time the Chinese economy drops to US and Japan growth rates, their economy will be 3 x larger than ours. Japan has half the population of US, and has half the economy; same will happen to China. They have 3x the population and will have 3x the economy. BIG money for those who can get it, and GM wants it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hell yeah.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Given that cars in China have zero emission control devices and the gasoline is really crappy, I am not sure that's anything to boast about.

      Headline should read

        • 6 Years Ago
        Talking about crappy gasoline.... 87 octane? Really? In 2009? After sorting out different ways of calculating octane ratings in Europe and US, US 87 would be about 90-91 in Europe, something a Skoda 120 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0koda_105/120/125) was supposed to run on.

        In Europe, we start on 95, most gas stations also sell 100 octane.
        • 6 Years Ago
        haha what a joke...you also pay like 6 bucks a gallon there. what does it matter if its 85 octane or 100 octane, almost all cars here can run on 85 just fine...?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm guessing that they were referring to the year-over-year growth rate. It's generally believed that the figures that China reports are a bit optimistic. Regardless of any creativity that they apply to their numbers, they are still fairly impressive given the world's economic climate.

      It remains to be seen if their growth is sustainable, since we don't have a good historical model to go off of. Personally, I think they will take huge hits updating their water and power generation infrastructure. Those hits could severely crimp their industrial growth potential, but some say that the global crisis is actually giving them an opportunity to gear up their infrastructure.

      At the very least, it should be interesting to watch what happens.
      • 6 Years Ago

      When was the last time you saw an American build brand new high rise apartment building fall over???

      yeah, thats what I thought!
        • 6 Years Ago

        I believe "Epoch Times" is an anti-China media outlet based in the US that has strong ties to the Falungong cult. So I would definitely not take their words as fact when it comes to reports about Mainland China.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Do u know what is the definition of superpower?

        means others produce and " I " use,understand? big "expenditure of energy" only belongs to superpower country ,The US is, China is not there yet, but it will be.simple reason they are "big".

        If u work too "industrious" ,the superpower will give u another an easy
        "Ten Lost Years" economy crises, lol.

        • 6 Years Ago
        It fell over due to bad construction techniques and cutting corners. Trying to compare it a brand new high-rise to a 43 year old over used bridge is not a fair comparison.

        The fact is, when we look at Chinese designed, Chinese manufactured products the list of quality issues is too long to even begin to count. Even my Chinese collogues won’t buy Chinese products, especially food.
        That said, China is a good place for manufacturing goods provided the work is closely watched and products designed by a foreign firm.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Seriously? So over a 70 year span you can find one bridge collapse which had nothing to do with the quality of the construction and 2 if not for the loss of life relatively minor design failures and compare it to something like this http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/18775/ which happened 2 weeks ago?
        Maybe you’re a structural engineer and that’s fine but my job is to represent Japanese manufactures when working with Chinese suppliers and verify they are providing the requested product at the agreed price point. Quality and corner cutting is a HUGE issue. You would be shocked by some of the things we see on a daily basis.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Uh... try Googling "Tropicana garage Atlantic City"
        While you are at it you can try "Kansas City Hyatt" and "Tacoma Narrows Bridge"
        Yeah I am a licensed structural engineer and just called your BS
        • 6 Years Ago
        You have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, do you?

        The collapse in Shanghai is caused by a clueless excavating contractor. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the design of the superstructure. Trust me. $25k/year journalists are not the people you should learn from when it comes to engineering (or anything for that matter). It's like blaming Les Robertson for the WTC collapse. Talking heads will say he should have designed the building to withstand bigger impacts. You cannot find a more ridiculous statement in the known world.

        Hmm clueless contractors. I am sure I never came across one in my career . If I get a penny every time I hear a contractor talking out of his behind, I could have bought a F430 Scuderia before you finish reading this post. (Proof in point: Google "NYC crane collapse + nylon sling")

        Yep small design error. Try telling that to the 100+ victims' kin in Kansas City and the 4 dead construction workers in NJ. I'm sure they will fully understand. And yes, over the past 70 years there have only been three such structural failures in the US

        The bottom line is, you sir have no knowledge in my field and please stop pretending you do.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You still have no clue what you are talking about, do you?
        Let's throw in the blanket statement of "construction technique and cutting corner" to cover all bases. After all, if you make enough accusations something's gonna stick, since just about every failure would have something to do with "construction technique" (Google "Big Dig + epoxy anchor") and every project involves "cutting corner". Let's regurgitate some report written by nitwit journalists (what the heck is "Epoch Times" btw?) and post it as facts, when in reality the whole thing happened because some excavator lacked the common sense of a five year old.

        And yes, you cannot imagine how many such instances I caught. Most excavations screwups were caught well before the superstructure went in so you do not see a total failure as in Shanghai, but the human casaulty and financial damage can be just the same. That tower in Shanghai probably costed a few mil to build. That amount may not even cover the Port-a-Potty rental in some projects I worked on (yes that is a hyperbole but you get the idea).

        If you cannot classify the floors of a building pancaking down, or the skywalk of a brand new hotel falling several stories and crushing 100+ lives as significant structural failures, I don't know what can. Your posts infer that such failures does not occur in the US when someone who IS knowledgable in the field just proved otherwise.
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