China's SUV sales up 25 percent in 2011

China's appetite for SUVs grew substantially in 2011, and automakers are keen to tap into the growing market.

China, a land of crowded cities, is emerging as an unlikely market for cars that many associate with America: sports utility vehicles.

Last week, Lamborghini announced it would be vying for the Chinese, and not the American, market with its forthcoming SUV.

“Chinese customers love their big cars,” explained Christian Mastro, Lamborghini’s general manager for the Asia-Pacific region. “All the brands are making cars more specific for the Chinese market.”

Indeed, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, Chinese consumers bought 2.1 million SUVs in 2011. That's an eye-popping 25.3% increase over the number purchased in 2010.

The Honda CRV was the most popular, selling 160,000 units, while Range Rover, BMW, and Audi also did well. Even China's domestic automakers are noting the trend, and rushing to bring SUV models to market.

But rest assured, despite the uptick in interest from China, the United States remains the largest market for the gas guzzlers: American consumers bought 4.1 million of them in 2011.

Photo: Honda

via [Leftlane]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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