The number of cars in circulation in China climbed 32.5% to 15.22 million last year, bring the total number of automobiles, including cars, vans, and trucks, to nearly 57 million, up 14.3% year-on-year, the Oriental Morning Post reported, citing National Bureau of Statistics figures. The number of private vehicles grew 20.8% to 35.34 million last year. “Every 1,000 people in China own approximately 50 vehicles,” said an official with the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. “This is far below the 120 global average and the 750 in the US, which reveals huge potential given China’s population and booming economy.” Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) predicted China’s car prices might drop 4.86% this year due to a possible oversupply; vehicle sales were expected to increase just 13% to 10 million units this year, compared to a sales surge of 22% in 2007. China’s vehicle exports surged 79% to 612,700 units last year, earning the country US$7.3 billion, up 130% on the previous year.

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