Look in your rear view mirror DaimlerChrysler.

You won't like what you see; nor will General Motors or the Ford Motor Company.

For accelerating swiftly in the fast lane is the People's Republic of China, whose turbocharged auto industry is on course to become the globe's third largest car manufacturer within the next six years.

So claims China's Automotive Industry Association. According to a CAIA vice-president, the nation's government is implementing measures to boost auto manufacturing as a key industry for national economic growth.

By 2010 China's car exports are expected to surpass $50 billion (€37.65bn; £25.99bn). Meantime the latest data show that in the first eleven months of 2004, 4.5 million cars were manufactured - and sold - indicating that total sales will hit 5m by the year end.

On the opposite side of the globe November's figures indicated a 17% fall in sales of General Motors' cars and light trucks.

[Some onlookers ask if it might have been a tad premature to celebrate the fall of communism on the night of November 9, 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down?]

Data sourced from People's Daily Online; additional content by WARC staff