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The Beijing Auto Show is about to end. It may be the most disappointing of the world’s large gatherings of car executives and their new products this year. One of the reasons the show has not caused a stir is that sales of cars and light trucks have tailed off in China. It is no longer considered a market which will pull global manufacturers away from the slump in Europe–one which could last several years.

The two stories that have dominated press coverage of the show are that more hybrid cars are about to come to market, and that luxury car sales have surged all over the world. There is evidence, however, that the high prices of hybrids and electric cars may keep consumers away from the products. As to luxury car sales,the recession and its aftermath did not affect the rich much.

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