The automobile industry, a key sector in Chinas industrialization and modernization efforts, has been developing rapidly since the 1990s. In recent years, China has become the worlds fastest growing automotive producer. Annual vehicle output has increased from less than 2 million vehicles in the late 1990s to 9.5 million in 2008. In terms of production volume in 2008, China has surpassed Korea, France, Germany, and the United States, trailing only Japan. A disproportionate share of Chinas output was heavy vehicles in the 1990s. However, since 2000 Chinas growth has been led by an increase in passenger cars, which now account for more than 65% of its vehicle production. Chinas automobile industry has continued to expand despite the global economic downturn. From January to October 2009, more than 10 million vehicles were sold in China. If such growth continues, China is on its way to becoming worlds largest auto market.”
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