China's auto output and sales soared more than 20% in the first quarter of this year, according to figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. China produced 2.19 million vehicles in the first quarter, up 22.6% from the same period last year, state media reported. Meanwhile, auto sales rose 22.2% to 2.12 million vehicles. Monthly output in March hit a record high of 853,800 as did sales which topped 847,00 units. Output and sales were up 16% and 17% respectively. China overtook Japan to become the world's second largest market for new vehicles in 2006 next only to the US, registering sales of 7.22 million units.