China Overtakes US Car Industry
For the first time in history more cars have been sold in China than in the United States. One of the reasons is that the economic crisis has not hit China as badly as the United States. Although sales are also down compared to the figures of last year there are still many customers in Chinese car showrooms.
China has a lot to catch up on. Car analysts point out that in the United States there are 800 cars for 1000 people. In China the same figure is only 20 cars. For many Chinese buying a car is a big event because most of them have never had one before. It’s not just a transportation tool like in the US or Europe. In China it’s still a status symbol.
With a growth of over 20% per year China has the fastest-growing automobile market in the world. Even though sales have been down due to the recession they are still better than anywhere else in the world.
In order to encourage growth the government has offered to help motorists and the smaller carmakers of the country. Tax on smaller vehicles has also been reduced and there are subsidies for those who want to exchange an old car for a new one. Even though most Chinese buy smaller local models those who can afford it buy American and European cars.
- afford = if you have enough money to buy something
- although =while
- catch up =to reach the same standard as someone else
- compare =to look at two or more things ans see how alike they are
- customer = a person who buys things in a shop
- economic =about the economy
- even though =although
- exchange = trade
- figure = number
- government = the people who rule a country
- growth =how something grows
- local = here: Chinese
- point out = to make clear
- reduce = to make smaller, lower
- sales = the selling of goods
- showroom = room where new cars are shown to people
- subsidy = the government gives you money if you buy a new one
- tool = here: machine
- vehicle = machines that move on wheels