Chinese carmakers surge as sales top 12 million, Suzuki gets a boost from VW

In Asia Wednesday, major indexes closed lower. In Japan, the Nikkei Index fell 1.3% to 10,005 and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index was down 1.4% to close at 21,742. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.7%, ending the day at 3,240.

Cars were the talk of the town today as the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers announced that this year's car sales have topped 12 million units so far, up more than 30 percent from last year, and that November sales for all vehicles were up 98%. Bloomberg reports that more than 20% of the cars sold have a price tag of around $5,000, putting pressure on carmakers to develop inexpensive, small cars to cater to the Asian market as opposed to the enormous, gas-guzzling SUVs still popular in the U.S.