The number of cars in China, the largest producer and buyer of the automobile sector since 2009, reached 98.46 million in mid-2011, an increase of 8.3 percent over the figures of last year, said an official report published by Ministry of Public Security.
In total, the number of vehicles in the Asian giant (also including motorcycles, tractors and trucks) in late June reached 217 million units, up 4.8 percent compared to figures of December 2010.
According to the ministry, 11 cities have already exceeded one million vehicles on its roads, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Chengdu and Beijing, where the number of vehicles exceeds 4.64 million. Of these, 70 percent are private cars.
China is a country with few cars in relative terms (there are 75 vehicles per thousand inhabitants compared to 550 in EU and 700 in U.S.), but in the big cities the traffic has become a serious problem because it generates large congestion and air pollution.