• China is fast becoming the Car Capital of the World

For the longest time, China was closed to any and all Western influences. But ever since they opened their doors to the foreign folks, their influence has been felt in massive waves. The floodgates had indeed been opened.

One of the biggest differences between China then and China now is the sheer volume of cars roaming around the streets these days. Take it from someone who has witnessed the mass congestion of constant swerving and honking horns first-hand.

It’s a classic case study of old-school meeting new school; a blend of the influences of the foreigners infiltrating the walls of the conservative giant nation. It’s a sight to see, really, especially when you chance upon an exotic European car parked in front of a 60 year old Chinese restaurant or a Ferrari zooming past Mao Tse Tung’s poster at the Forbidden City.

China’s sudden infatuation with cars comes as a breath of fresh air for car manufacturers – especially those besieged US brands – that have struggled mightily in their businesses all over the world. A number of US brands, including General Motors – have capitalized on this new and enormous market and it has paid off handsomely in return.

Continued after the jump.


In just a year’s time, GM has seen its car sales in China spike up by 75% and the company is even saying that 25% of their global happen in China.
It’s a trend that more and more car manufacturers are seeking to explore.

Considering that this country is home to one-sixth of the world’s population, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to start shipping your cars here by the freight load and make a killing in the process. After all, if you’re sales are down in your homeland, China’s the next best place to sell them.
Rest assured, the mass influx of cars in the country is just getting started and it’s not going to end anytime soon.

Take it from Yale Zhang, a Shanghai-based analyst for CSM Worldwide - an auto industry group, when he says that, “"If you want to grow your overall volume, this is where you need to invest.”

That’s probably the best advice car manufacturers the world over will hear in a long time.

Source: USA Today

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (137) posted on 06.19.2009

The Shanghai Auto show have the automakers to show how China is changing the course of automobile global market, and we know this will continue to bloom. This also mean that the market command will shift towards the chinese choices and preferences in the future...this is interesting.

  (78) posted on 06.19.2009

I guess, its China’s turn. most of the things that we have, we eat we wear, we use are amde in China. It only shows that China can really take this leap into the global market its just time.

  (116) posted on 06.19.2009

Well, decades behind developed nations when it comes to supporting a car culture, China may actually benefit from its very backwardness. All those bicycles mean there isn’t a cumbersome - and entrenched - gasoline infrastructure to stand in the way of the next big thing. That’s why China hopes to eventually bypass the oil-based auto culture and go right to a hydrogen economy.

  (79) posted on 06.19.2009

In fact major car manufacturers (with the exception of Honda) have come to show that they’re ready to play China’s game, whatever it turns out to be. Toyota will begin producing hybrid Priuses in Changchun. GM made 15 times more profit per sale in Asia than at home in 2003, will manufacture hybrid buses for Shanghai. So you can only see now, while the market trends lead to China, hybrid cars and platforms are also being developed to usher this new development

  (177) posted on 06.19.2009

In one interview to a local: "I never thought of getting a car," he says. "Driving was a very serious profession - like medicine." Cars were for party bureaucrats, or at least the very rich. But now cars are common sight in the busy cities of China, a common necessity for ordinary people.

  (231) posted on 06.19.2009

Daimler says in an interview, China is the only bright spot in the global auto market and with March and April showing particularly strong growth, China might overtake the U.S. by yearend. It only means that recession have carved a great effect on automarket and good thing is, China is there to save the day!

  (289) posted on 06.19.2009

I must say that the attendance at the Shanghai auto show spoke for this image, the glitz and glamour at Shanghai were as flashy as ever and definitely China’s market will continue to grow and attrack more dealers

  (318) posted on 06.19.2009

China is predictable when it comes to facination-from rickshaw to bicycles to cars. As car markets sputter around the world, global automakers are looking to China as the big hope for growth in 2009. China is on track to rival the U.S. as the world’s largest auto market this year. In the first quarter of 2009, sales in China rose

  (314) posted on 06.19.2009

China is fast becoming the powerhouse of car market today according to Business week. It sounds good for struggling north American and European car market, this demand in a way offset the lossess. Expect more shows in Shanghai in the coming months!

  (421) posted on 06.19.2009

We all know that when the so-called sleeping giant started to open its doors to the world, a whole new China is embracing capitalism. One of these is the chinese penchant not just fast but super fast and exquisitely luxurious cars in the market.

Car Finder: