China has overtaken the United States and Japan to become the world’s largest car manufacturing country in 2009, the China Business News reported today.

The Japan Association of Automobile Manufacturers (JAAM) said 7.93 million vehicles were produced in Japan in 2009, which was a 31.5-percent decline year-on-year. JAAM said that was caused by the recession, a decline in home consumption and falling exports.

Only 5.7 million vehicles were produced in the US last year. However, vehicle manufacturing in China came to 13.79 million units in 2009. This was the first time that China overtook the US and Japan to become the champion of car production in the past 20 years, the newspaper said.
According to the data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, 4.57 million vehicles were produced by self-owned brand companies, or 44 percent of the country’s automobile sales volume in 2009. But car exports declined 46 percent year-on-year to 332,400.


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