Here’s a quirky international business fact from past week: the identity of the world’s largest car market has shifted. No longer is it the US. It is now China.
January vehicle sales were reportedly: China – 790,000 vs US – 657,000.
Of course, this is mainly driven by the plummet in US auto sales (down around 40% year on year and still falling), but nevertheless it demonstrates the ongoing rise of China as a consumer market (as well as the world’s factory).
At the same time, there appears to also be a shakeout within the Chinese market itself, with expectations of considerable consolidation. The Top 10 brands only account for 66% of sales in China, which is probably unsustainable (especially as export markets possibly shrink).
As the WSJ piece argues, this could be just what is needed to spur on the emergence of a clear Chinese car giant in the coming decade.