Bikes take a beating in China

100 million Chinese families are likely to buy private cars in the coming 10-15 years, says auto boss, making China the world's biggest market for gas-guzzlers. Along with the growth in car ownership, Chinese cities - built for bicycles, buses and just a few government vehicles - will likely clog with traffic.
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According to a piece in China Daily, Chen Hong, general manager of Shanghai GM, General Motor's joint venture in Shanghai, at least 100 million Chinese families are likely to buy cars in the near future.

Annual car sales in China could reach 10 million units a year by 2010, second only to the US.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers says China produced two million cars in 2003, up 83 percent over the previous year.

China is now the world's fourth largest car producer, behind the United States, Japan and Germany.

"It looks as though the tradition of cycling and China's nickname as the 'Bicycle Kingdom' will soon be driven out forever," reports China Daily, somewhat gleefully.

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