China auto sales officially surpass U.S. in 2009, 13.6 million vehicles sold

China is officially the world’s largest auto market. With an estimated 13.6 million vehicles sold in 2009, the Chinese market grew by about 45 percent between ’08 and ’09. American sales of cars and light trucks however, plunged by about 21% in 2009 to around 10.4 million units.

The growth exhibited by the Chinese market out-performed J.D. Power & Associates predictions. This just reaffirms China’s status as a rising world economy, having over-taken Germany last year as the world’s largest exporter, and they are expected to overtake Japan soon as the world’s second largest economy.

China has long been expected to eventually become the world’s largest auto market, but not until 2020, the latest economic crisis slowed the U.S. economy to the point where China could take over, and sales are expected to climb even further in 2010. Both GM and Ford have seen astronomical increases in their Chinese sales figures for 2009.

-By Stephen Calogera

Source: Detroit News