China's red-hot economic growth became more evident on Monday after its 2009 vehicle sales jumped 46 percent and cemented the nation's position as the largest automobile market in the world.
Last week it was announced that China had surpassed Germany to become the largest exporter in the world, demonstrating the economic might of the world's third largest economy. But even the title of third largest economy will soon be a thing of the past - as China is expected to overtake Japan in 2010 as the number two economy in the world, second only to the United States.
Being the largest exporter and the second largest economy does not immediately confer wealth upon China's citizens - as the country ranked 130th in per capita income in 2008. However, it was announced on Monday that China has become the largest automotive market in the world - knocking the United States to the number two position and demonstrating the growth of the Chinese middle class.
“China is becoming the center stage of development for the 21st century global auto industry,” Bill Russo, a Beijing- based senior adviser at Booz & Co., told Bloomberg. “Economic growth has directly translated into growth in automobile sales.”