Chinese bureaucrats are under increased pressure to support Chinese-made car brands instead of the preferred luxury brands such as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Advertising Age reports:
The combined market share for Chinese sedans and compact cars fell to a four-year low of 28% in 2012, according to data compiled by the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
No Chinese brand was among the 10 top-selling passenger models last year, the data showed. Chinese carmakers risk falling further behind as foreign automakers expand their upscale product lineups with attractively priced crossovers and compact sedans.
Audi dominated the premium vehicle segment in China with a 30% share last year, followed by BMW at 24% and Mercedes-Benz at 21%, according to researcher IHS Global Insight.
Chinese government officials are confined in their automobile purchases by state-controlled limits on their spending:
In 2011, the central government issued guidelines that lowered the price limit on cars used for routine official business by 28% to 180,000 yuan. The lower limit would appear to eliminate the Audi A6L, China’s best-selling luxury car, which starts at 287,300 yuan.
Three months later, the industry ministry issued a proposed list of 412 models approved for purchase by state agencies — a list that excluded foreign brands. The fine print: Those regulations don’t apply to cars used by senior government and Communist Party officials.
Detailed rules probably will be issued after the Congress meets this month, providing a big boost to FAW, SAIC and other local automakers, the Beijing Times reported on Feb. 28, without saying where it got the information.
It is tempting to follow suit and demand our U.S. lawmakers to drive the Chevy Volt….DONATE
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