Tag Archives: Automobile

Bugatti Opens First Showroom Outside France In Beijing

Luxury Carmaker Builds Showroom On Jinbao Street In Response To Growing Chinese Demand

Bugatti's choice to open a showroom in Beijing shows the company's intention to expand in the China market

Bugatti's choice to open a showroom in Beijing shows the company's intention to expand in the China market

China’s growing automotive demand has been great for automakers of all stripes, from up-and-coming budget domestic brands to the world’s most expensive and exclusive marks. Already this year, companies like Japan’s Mitsuoka Motor Co have announced their intentions to build showrooms in China, Porsche debuted its Panamera Turbo at the Shanghai Auto Show, Ferrari created a China-only version of its 599 GTB Fiorano, and Rolls Royce received 20 orders for its $250,000 Ghost after presenting the automobile in Hong Kong.

Now Bugatti, the high performance French automaker, has opened its first-ever showroom outside of France, located on Beijing’s swanky Jinbao Street. From Alibaba News:

“The opening of the show room, the first one in the world, shows Bugatti’s confidence in China‘s luxury carmarket, “said Mr Kuo-chung, President of Bugatti China. 

Kuo-chung said backed by sustained economic boom, China now has a significant number of billionaires, pointing to the annual Hurun Report which said China now has more known dollar billionaires than any other country bar the United States.

BYD’s Wang Chuanfu Tops China’s Rich List On Heels Of Buffett Investment

Wang Jumps 102 Spots To Head The Hurun Report’s “Rich List”; Now Worth $5.1 Billion

BYD's Wang Chuanfu is now worth over US $5 billion, putting him at the top of China's "Rich List"

BYD's Wang Chuanfu is now worth over US $5 billion, putting him at the top of China's "Rich List"

Last week, we saw what the endorsement of a financial heavyweight like Warren Buffett can do for a little-known Chinese company, with the stock of Dayang Trands skyrocketing 71% following Buffett’s praises of the company’s bespoke suits. In the automotive sector, today China Herald (via Bloomberg) points out that Buffett’s investment in previously low-key Chinese battery and hybrid/electric car maker BYD has not only given the brand global visibility, it has made the company’s head, Wang Chuanfu, a very rich man and putting him at the top of the Hurun Report’s China Rich List beating China’s longtime #1, Zhang Yin.

[Wang’s] wealth jumped to $5.1 billion, exceeding Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Ltd. founder Zhang Yin’s $4.9 billion, according to an e-mailed statement from the Hurun Report today.

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Japan’s Mitsuoka Motor Co. To Enter Chinese Market

Japanese Luxury Automaker Plans To Open Beijing Showroom By Q1 2010

The Mitsuoka Orochi will retail for around 800,000 RMB (US $117,177) in China when it arrives next year

The Mitsuoka Orochi will retail for around 800,000 RMB (US $117,177) in China when it arrives next year

The growing Chinese luxury market is a prime target for many Asian companies that have found demand in their home countries — mainly South Korea and Japan — either growing at a snail’s pace or simply remaining stagnant. As formerly luxury-mad consumers in traditional markets like Japan cut back on their spending, high-end Japanese companies have started to look abroad for more opportunities, with China remaining the natural choice as a result of its proximity and massive population.

Recently, Japan’s Mitsuoka Motor Co., one of the country’s major luxury automakers, announced their plans to enter the Chinese market next year, starting with a showroom in Beijing that is slated to open in April. To lead their China efforts, the company will display their Orochi model at next year’s Beijing Auto Show and follow up their Beijing strategy with new dealerships in other top-tier cities:

The Orochi will spearhead Mitsuoka’s debut into China. The company plans to display the car at next year’s Beijing Auto Show, and to open dealerships in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

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Mercedes May Form Joint Venture With Brilliance

Eighth-Largest Chinese Automaker Rumored To Be In Market For Second JV Partner, After Successful Linkup With BMW

Brilliance Auto is looking to spread its manufacturing base rapidly to compete with larger domestic rivals

Brilliance Auto is looking to spread its manufacturing base rapidly to compete with larger domestic rivals

The auto blog China Car Times (via China Daily) reports that Brilliance China Auto, China’s eighth-largest automaker, may form a new joint venture focused on commercial vehicles with Mercedes-Benz. China Car times notes that the potential joint venture would have a target production rate of 40,000 vehicles per year.

While the laws surrounding foreign-Chinese joint ventures are somewhat murky — with conflicting reports suggesting that foreign companies are unable to form more than one such venture in China at a time (a potential problem for Daimler, which is already linked with Beijing Auto Works) — China Daily’s report seems relatively optimistic that the Mercedes-Brilliance alliance will move ahead:

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Lamborghini CEO: China To Overtake Italy Within 3-5 Years

Luxury Carmaker Looks To Chinese Market For Sustained Growth Over Other Emerging Markets Like Russia

China has become one of Lamborghini's top markets after only four years in the Mainland

China has become one of Lamborghini's top markets after only four years in the Mainland

There has been quite a bit of news this week about predictions by the CEO of Lamborghini that China will overtake Italy as the second-largest market in the world for Lamborghini within three to five years, trailing only the United States. Lamborghini has aggressively sought growth in the Mainland market since opening its first dealership in Shanghai in 2005. The company’s expansion in this potentially vast market has been meteoric, with Chinese sales expected to account for much of Lamborghini’s Asian sales by 2012. While much of this comes down to the reduced demand for ultra-expensive autos in developed markets, it has been bolstered by Lamborghini’s sustained efforts to build a strong foothold in China, an effort that has been helped by an existing taste for expensive European goods.

As Reuters illustrates, Lamborghini is banking on a continued appetite for expensive European brands in the Mainland market, and has sent managers to China with the express task of cutting through any obstacles that still remain to reaching as many wealthy buyers as possible:

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GM And China A Time-Tested Fit

The American Automaker Is Enjoying Record Gains In China’s Rapidly-Growing Automotive Market, Despite Difficulties At Home

GM has enjoyed record success in China over the past four years. But will domestic upstarts like BYD woo Chinese car buyers away? Photo © BusinessWeek

GM has enjoyed record success in China over the past four years. But will domestic upstarts like BYD woo Chinese car buyers away? Photo © BusinessWeek

With GM’s impending bankruptcy and restructuring in the news over the last week, it is easy to lose sight of the company’s global reach and mixed revenues. Although the company has had unprecedented difficulties in the North American market, brought on by the global economic downturn, in China — where the company has operated (with a roughly 30-year interruption) for decades — GM has been the leading foreign carmaker for the last four years.

Although China’s domestic car makers — spurred by huge foreign and government investment over the past few years — are making great strides, since the formation of the Shanghai GM joint venture in 1997, the company has worked hard to rebrand itself for the China market. All of this work has paid off in China, since as of last year, GM built an estimated market share of 12.1% on sales of nearly to 1.1 million units.

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Dongfeng, Geely, Great Wall, BYD Set For Rapid Growth In Chinese Auto Market

Analysts Indicate That Low Ownership Rates, Government Subsidies May Spur Faster Growth Of World’s Largest Auto Market

Dongfeng is looking to compete with other domestic Chinese brands to capture market share from foreign competitors

Dongfeng is looking to compete with other domestic Chinese brands to capture market share from foreign competitors

From the recent Shanghai Auto Show to news that the Chinese government plans to offer higher subsidies for consumers trading in old vehicles for new ones, China’s auto market has been a busy place in recent months. With the sluggish performance of carmakers in more developed global markets, the news that auto shares in China — currently the world’s biggest car market — are expected to outperform this year will, in many ways, comfort global auto companies.

However, as we have previously discussed, the news that Chinese car buyers are growing rapidly as a consumer base shouldn’t be enough for foreign automakers — as domestic brands like BYD, Geely, Chery and others vie for dominance in this rapidly-changing market, foreign automakers will have to invest heavily if they are to keep the lead they have built in the last 10-20 years.

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