Luxury cars steal the show at Beijing Auto 2010

Isaac Mostovicz writes that the attention of car makers was shifting at the Beijing auto show...

Luxury carLuxury cars stole the spotlight at this year’s Beijing Auto show, despite its original, intended focus to be aimed at green technology. The article on Merinews describes the shift of attention as being due to car makers’ response to the unanticipated, phenomenal, economic growth in China’s auto market.

Ian Robertson, BMW head of Sales said, “Nobody anticipated the growth here. Growth rates [like this] happen once in a lifetime in mature markets. Here, they’re happening every year.”

Last year China’s auto market outsold the US by a staggering 13.6 million vehicles in comparison to US’ 10.4 million. In particular interest to these car manufacturers’ is the amount of luxury cars being sold in China. The LA Times has the figures:

Although many of those vehicles are stripped-down economy models, the nation’s wealthy are fast developing a taste for pricey cars.

Luxury car sales in China were up 66% the first three months of 2010 compared with last year, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

Mercedes-Benz has seen its China sales more than double so far this year compared with 2009.

BMW announced at the event that it was boosting its sales target in China from 100,000 to 120,000, which would make the country its third-largest market. The company sold 90,000 cars here last year.

This is not the first time China’s potential market has sparked car companies’ interest, we saw BMW, Audi and Aston Martin all take advantage of this as well as highlighted China’s growing presence on the property market and also talked about the continued, growing trend in Chinese consumers heading west to buy luxury goods.

Favourite cars among these luxury Chinese consumers are Ferrari’s 599 GTO, Porsche’s Panamera 4 and Mercedes Benz’s SLS AMG. People choose these sorts of cars for their features, and the most popular include cars with more legroom and footstool in the rear, Bang & Olufen Speakers, ambient lighting with rotating colours, walnut folding table, 10.2 inch LCD screen and massage chairs. These backseat features take precedence over the driver’s seat because it is the preference and style of Eastern buyers to be chauffeured around in what Audi A8 project leader, Matthias Mueller calls ‘statement’ cars; ‘It has to show you’ve made it.’ Popular buyers in this market appear to gravitate more towards Lambda personalities, because not only do they get the extravagant interior of the car but also the show-stopping exterior that Lambdas would immediately attach a back story to. A story of success, achievement and accomplishment and in a manner that is so hard to miss. Thetas would also love these luxury makes as it not only provides discreet opulence within but also maintains their desired standing among China’s elite community.

Photo: Flickr

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