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  1. So here’s the deal, I’m gonna buy a car. I have a couple of ideas but I’m not sure what to buy. Here’s what I’m looking for: some rwd or awd, weighs less than 3,700 lbs, is fun to drive (in the sense it handles and corners well or has the ability to be modded too), 2 or 4 door, mpgs don’t have to be amazing, and moderately reliable. My budget is $5,999. So far I have considered E36s, E46s, and Imprezas. I know my budget isn’t high, but I would suggestions. I really just want a fun light car to do some suspension mods on and rip a back road. Also is are there any cars that would be worth extending the budget for?
  2. In the first quarter, light-vehicle sales in China dipped 1%, to 3.77 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Last year, sales of passenger vehicles climbed 5.2%, to 14.5 million, while total vehicle sales, including buses and trucks, inched ahead just 2.5%, to 18.5 million. In a role reversal, China's tepid growth in 2011 actually trailed the 10% surge in U.S. light-vehicle sales.But the upbeat attitude was palpable at the Beijing show. Automakers announced dramatic plans to increase production and dealership networks. The association predicts that total sales will climb 8% this year, to about 20 million units. But Shi Jianhua, the group's vice secretary general, cautioned that that may be overly optimistic. Automakers expect that inland sales will take off as the more affluent areas along the coast become saturated with cars.Automakers predict the next big boom will happen in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities: those with 500,000 to 2 million people. Of China's 660 urban centers, only four are Tier 1 cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The others may have large populations but trail in per-capita income, infrastructure and cosmopolitan culture. Those Tier 2 and Tier 3 metropolises are the sweet zone for new sales."They're just entering the strong growth period of their own," said Jim Press, a former Toyota and Chrysler executive now heading the China operations of U.S. dealership group McLarty Automotive. "Many of them do not even have dealerships yet. This is the gold rush of 2012."McLarty started with 10 stores in China last year and plans to increase to 23 this year.
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