China had nearly 156 million motor vehicles by the end of September, up 7.4 percent compared with the end of last year, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
This included 55 million automobiles and 85 million motorcycles. The statistics also cover tractors, trailers and other sorts of motor vehicles, statistics from the traffic administration of the ministry show.
Up to 61 percent of automobiles were privately owned, with the number close to 34 million, the ministry said.
There were 2.9 million imported motor-driven vehicles in use at the end of September, with 67 percent automobiles, up nearly 6.9 percent.
The number of drivers increased seven percent from the end of 2006 to 160.6 million by the end of last month, about 78.6 percent of whom are in the 26 to 50 age bracket.
China, once known as the kingdom of bicycles, has overtaken Japan to become the world's second largest auto market after the United States.
(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2007)