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Mandarin/Eng/Nat The Beijing Auto 96 car show is attracting huge crowds, hoping to catch a glimpse of mostly unattainable Western luxury vehicles. While still only a fantasy for most, China's booming economy means more people than ever can afford a car. It's one of the many new sights in China. Shapeless proletarian dress is out, and the red on these Ferraris has nothing to do with communism. Not that any of these dazzled onlookers will ever own one. Current sales over 3 years amount to 1 Ferrari for every 60 (m) million Chinese. But in the new China, even if one can't afford such a car, at least now it's okay to want one. And the salesmen are hoping that with time there will be money to match the desire. SOUNDBITE: (English): "Ferrari is like, all over the world, it's the dream car of everybody. And same as China. All people would like to have a dream car like this." SUPER CAPTION: Alex Yip, Assistant General Manager, Marketing, Italian Motors Ltd. This is still the reality for most Chinese. In China there is a saying - the Chinese don't move, they roll, on bicycles, that is. Along with many other things in China, that's changing and the demand for cars is growing. The domestic auto industry has dramatically boosted production, growing at a rate of 25 percent a year for the past five years, according to official figures. Joint Venture vehicles like this Sino-Japanese sub-compact have proved popular, and at around nine thousand U-S dollars compared to 230-thousand dollars for a Ferrari -- it's affordable. But the crowd at the Beijing auto show which closes Monday came to see something new. Foreign luxury and sports cars attracted the most attention from a crowd unused to such excesses of design and power. Often the fashion models hired to drape themselves on the vehicles seemed to draw more attention than the cars. But for many onlookers a leather interior or new dashboard were excitement enough. For many of those looking to buy, the sticker price of even the more modest foreign entries remains prohibitive. For now, they'll hold onto their Chinese cars. SOUNDBITE: (Mandarin) "Frankly speaking, foreign cars are better. Unfortunately, the prices are not realistic for people on a salary like mine. But the cars here are so good, now it's one of my goals to have one in the future." SUPERCAPTION: Liping Wang, Voxpop Time-tested old Chinese brands were also on display. Indigenous makes and joint-venture models certainly received less swooning enthusiasm. But they remain popular with most Chinese car-buyers because of their price and familiarity. While the surging economy has created masses of new wealth, most Chinese will have to wait to buy any car. The average monthly wage according to official figures is still around 45 U-S dollars for urban dwellers, and most of that usually goes to meet basic needs. Only approximately 1 in 500 Chinese currently own their own car. Despite this, optimism is running high. SOUNDBITE: (Mandarin) "I don't think it's only a distant dream for Chinese people to have their own cars. For example, I'm a student and I think that after graduating and working a few years I'll have my own car." SUPERCAPTION: Yi Liu, Voxpop From all signs at the car show, China's next generation feels right at home behind the wheel. They might need a little practice obeying seatbelt laws, but they seem to have figured out how everything else works. And they may be the first generation in China which grows up knowing more about driving cars than riding bicycles. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/b1f5cc3bcdf6a13c5720b47dbc307e76 Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork