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China to overtake US in premium cars

By  Lu Nengneng (Shanghai Daily)

09:15, March 05, 2013

CHINA is set to overtake the United States as the world's largest premium car market by as early as 2016 driven by the rising number of affluent families and the emergence of new mainstream households upbeat about future economic growth, McKinsey & Co said yesterday.

Sales of premium cars in China, now the world's biggest auto market, are set to grow 12 percent annually through 2020 to 3 million units, equalling those of Western Europe, the consulting firm predicted after surveying 1,200 Chinese premium car owners in 12 of the country's largest cities at the end of last year.

The survey revealed 80 percent of Chinese premium car owners are affluent as they have over 200,000 yuan (US$34,000) in annual disposable household income. McKinsey expects the number of these households to grow from 7 million to 23 million by 2020, accounting for 7 percent of the country's population.

Another decisive factor driving the premium car market is the number of new mainstream households boasting 100,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan in annual disposable income.

This group of potential entry-level premium car consumers is set to more than quadruple in size in the next eight years to 171 million, according to the consulting company.

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