Buick dealership in China

Though many may not realize the extent of it, the auto business has been booming in China for a while now. General Motors actually sells more vehicles there than they do in the States, and huge market growth in China has been crucial to the bottom lines of all the carmakers that do business there. But according to Fortune, these boon times may be coming to an end.

LMC Automotive predicts that the 2012 vehicle market in China will only be growing at a 9.2-percent rate, less than half of last year's rate, according to the report. Perhaps more chilling is that the Chinese government wants to keep foreign automakers from expanding, in an effort to shield it's own domestic industry. While GM and Ford are already established in China, Chrysler – which does not build cars in the country yet – might be shut out given the new policies, Fortune says.

Then there's the possibility of an economic crisis in China, fueled by a combination of rapid middle class income growth and the expansion of state-owned companies, which some analysts say could happen in just three years. No matter how you look at it, the gold rush in China is likely coming to its inevitable end.