[From Xinhua/People's Daily Online:]
The number of China's privately owned sedans soared 33.5 percent year-on-year to 11.49 million at the end of 2006, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Wednesday.
The number of private automobiles reached 29.25 million at the end of 2006, up 23.7 percent over the end of 2005, the statistics show.
The country sold more than seven million automobiles in 2006, including 3.8 million sedans, according to figures from the China Automobile Industry Association.
The number of privately owned vehicles has been soaring since the country's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, when 43 percent of the country's civilian vehicles were privately owned.
China, once known as the kingdom of bicycles, has overtaken Japan to become the world's second largest auto market after the United States.
[Image source: Tegenstroom]