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by Tim Beissmann

Here’s a good piece of trivia for a Friday. How many motor vehicles (that’s cars, trucks and buses) are operational in the world? The answer…

One billion.

That’s right. According to data compiled by US publication Wards Auto, the world vehicle population topped one billion for the first time ever in 2010.

The milestone was achieved on the back of a 35.6-million-vehicle increase for the year, which saw the global registered fleet rise from 980 million to 1.015 billion.

The 3.6 per cent year-on-year increase (the second-largest in history) was thanks mostly to China’s booming industry and high demand for new cars.

The number of motor vehicles in operation in China skyrocketed more than 27 per cent in 2010 alone, increasing 16.8 million units to more than 78 million.

The massive increase in China accounted for almost half of the global increase for the 12-month period.

China has now overtaken Japan into second position overall in terms of total registered vehicles, with Japan sitting on 73.9 million.

The US still has the largest vehicle fleet by far. Almost 240 million vehicles are registered in the US, although that grew by less than one per cent in 2010.

Brazil enjoyed the second-largest volume increase for 2010, with an additional 2.5 million vehicles on the road. India’s percentage increase was the second-largest in the world, up 8.9 per cent from 19.1 million to 20.8 million.

The number of vehicles in operation in the world has doubled since 1986.




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