The American market is now the fastest growing new car market in the world. Again. China has held on to this coveted position since all the way back in 1998. The U.S. has reclaimed the top spot with a combination of rising domestic sales and slowing Chinese growth. Sales have begun to slow in the other BRIC countries as well, with India and Brazil posting up 4.3 and 4.5 percent growth respectively for 2011.
China’s auto sales grew by roughly 5 percent last year, which is a massive fall from their 32 percent increase in sales in 2010 alone. As with all nation-wide statistics, there are an unclear multitude of factors that have led to this precipitous drop-off. Many analysts are pointing to the fact that the Chinese government has phased out their long-held subsidies, rebates and a sales-tax break on vehicle purchases. Disappearing incentives coupled with their central bank raising borrowing costs to fight inflation have puts the brakes on the once robust Chinese automotive market.
Sales in the United States rose 10 percent in 2011, to 12.8 million light-vehicles sold. That’s the second consecutive annual increase of at least 10 percent and deliveries may rise about 5.6 percent in 2012. This growth comes after sales tumbled to the lowest in more than a quarter-century three years ago. Local analysts are pointing to rising consumer confidence and the advanced age of most cars on the roads today as prime reasons the American market has reclaimed the top spot from China after 14 years.
Source: Automotive News