China is narrowing the auto sales gap with Japan.
Japan's new-vehicle sales in the first quarter totaled 1.76 million, up 0.5 percent. That was about 30,000 ahead of China's first-quarter record 1.73 million, up about 36.8 percent.
China is expected to pass Japan this year to become the world's second-largest single-nation auto market after the United States.
The markets are quite different. In Japan, cars and light trucks account for over 90 percent of the market. In China, commercial vehicles make up a third of the market.