Supersizing Supercars in China

Bloomberg reports on the race among the world’s luxury car makers to bring their SUV lines to China’s nouveau riche:

“Luxury cars are at the top of the consumption desires of rich Chinese,” said Giuliano Noci, vice rector for the China campus of Milan Polytechnic. Since wealthy Chinese consumers have a limited history with the European brands, “the luxury- car makers can dare something new.”

Sales of ultra-luxury cars may almost double in China to 8,100 vehicles and surge more than five times in Russia to 500 by 2015, according to IHS Automotive. That growth rate compares with a 21 percent increase in Europe to 11,700 cars over the same period. Even with the growth of the Chinese luxury market slowing this year, the automakers see long-term benefits.

The shift by Maserati, Bentley and Lamborghini to SUVs replicates Porsche SE’s strategy. The maker of the 911 sports car departed from its roots when it rolled out the $48,200 Cayenne in 2002. The Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer now relies on the SUV for half its deliveries. The model has a waiting list of about a year in China.

For more on luxury cars in China, see also previous CDT coverage of “The Luxury Cars of Golden Treasure Street and Highway 99.”


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