The Chinese car market has this year started to deliver the kind of volumes that justify the automotive industry's vast investments in the country. Even the SARS virus could not stop the rapid advances in car sales, which started in the second half of 2002 and continued unabated through 2003. China sold 1.34 million cars in the first nine months of the year, up 69% from the same period last year, prompting the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers to upgrade its full-year sales forecast to 1.9m units from 1.5m. Chinese car production surged 87% year-on-year to 1.41m units in the first nine months of the year.