Saturday, January 9, 2010

China up, U.S. down

As if to prove we're no longer a manufacturing society, and as if to demonstrate the futility of the government's purchase of most of what remains of the U.S. auto industry, this news was just released:

China overtook the United States as the biggest auto market in 2009 and automakers should see more strong growth there this year, an industry group reported Friday.

Boosted by Beijing's stimulus, 2009 passenger car sales soared to 10.3 million and total vehicle sales are estimated at 13.6 million, the China Passenger Car Association said. That represents growth of about 45% from 2008.

"This is even better than anyone expected," the group's general secretary, Rao Da, said at a news conference in Shanghai.

By contrast, U.S. sales of cars and light trucks plunged 21% in 2009 to 10.4 million as a shaky economy kept buyers away from showrooms. It was the first time any country bought more cars than Americans.

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