China has passed Japan to become the world’s second largest automotive market with combined sales including imports totalling 3.6 million vehicles for the first half of 2006. This increase in growth is in stark contrast to Japan’s declining car market, where sales fell to just over 3 million vehicles over the same period.

Japan still manufactures more cars than China but given the different auto industry growth rates of the two countries this aspect is sure to change as well.

[Source: Automotive News]