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April 29, 2010

China's Age of Cars

CARS - The future of cars is in China and India... Why? Because as their economies grow, China and India's population guarantees an age of freeways, expressways, super highways the likes of which will make the USA's network of roads to be mere practice for the engineers in charge of designing them.

And automakers selling cars in China are well aware of this fact. The auto shows alone are so big its mindboggling. Think 40 football fields of automotive display cases and 700,000 visitors in a single day. The Detroit Auto Show is small in comparison.

And unlike buyers in North America who frequently get car loans Chinese buyers prefer to pay with cash. They pay in full and drive the car away the same day.

Furthermore the thirst to have a "nice car" is booming in China so much that many car buyers return 6 months to a year later to buy another car, a dramatically more expensive one because they've realized its a status symbol.

And again they pay cash. Getting a car loan is a rarity in China.

This is golden age of the automobile in China. Buyers are lining up to buy cars, packing into buildings like sardines and they've realized that cars are a status symbol, a stepping stone to a life of luxury.

According to General Motors’ China division head Kevin Wale, China's thirst for cars is nothing short of “seismic.”

China is officially now the world’s largest car market: sales of 13.6 million cars in 2009 trumped the 10 million and change sold in the United States during the same time period – a first.

J.D. Power and Associates predict sales in China in 2010 will top 14.5 million. Others are suggesting car sales might reach 18 million. China’s 2009 car sales was up 53%. Depending on who you talk to China should expect car sales to rise anywhere from 10 to 40%.

70% of Chinese customers are first-time buyers, a trend that’s expected to continue. 90% of new car buyers in China pay with cash. Thats good news for automotive makers who badly need the cash to pay off their bailout debts in the USA and Canada.

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