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Auto markets in China and Central Europe will continue to boom, says new study

Munich. Asia and Central Europe will have explosive growth in new car registrations during the next 10 years, according to a study by R.L. Polk Marketing Systems.

The study by the automotive market data company has not yet been published but was made available to Automobilwoche.

The study shows that by 2014 new car registrations in central Europe will have soared by 220 percent from 1995. In Asia the increase will be 307 percent.

In Asia, the Chinese market will grow most -- exploding by 1,065 percent by 2014.

In 2002 more than a million new cars were sold in China. The figure for 2003 is expected to be more than two million, which means that China might overtake South Korea and become the second largest auto market after Japan.

The forecast for new car sales in China in 2006 is more than three million.

The study shows that the reasons for this rapid growth are China's entry in the World Trade Organization, the reduction of import duties and the relaxation of import quotas.

Manufacturers' price reductions, higher private incomes and the Chinese government's recent decision to allow new cars to be financed on credit are also fuelling the boom.

Malaysia (230 percent) and India (404 percent) are other Asian markets, which will show high growth.

But Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and South Korea have not yet recovered from the auto industry's crisis and will hardly grow.

In Central Europe the highest growth is forecast for Hungary and Slovakia with 313 percent and 356 percent respectively.

The Slovenian and Polish markets will only grow by small margins. These markets already have relatively high levels of car ownership so vehicle demand is not driven by the low number of existing cars but mainly by the need for replacement vehicles.

The most popular cars in Central Europe are small cars and lower medium-range cars. These have a market share of 77 percent.

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