By the end of 2015, the Chinese owned approximately 172 million cars, and the country maintained its position as the world’s largest car market for the seventh consecutive year.
However, annual growth in the market for new cars has slowed significantly since 2011, while the market for used cars has gradually gathered momentum.
In terms of sheer volume, the new-car market still dwarfs the second-hand car market. In 2015 alone, 21.1 million new cars traded hands in China – nearly double the volume of the U.S. market and larger than all of Europe. However, according to the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers, this market boasted only a mild growth of 4.68% year-on-year, down from a 9.2% rate in 2013. This deceleration could be attributed to the overall sluggish performance of the Chinese economy in 2015, which sported its lowest growth rate in 25 years. Yet analysts forecast that the lower growth rate in the new- car market will persist as the new norm.