As China prepares for global domination by firstly removing the US from the car sales number 1 spot, it will be interesting to observe not only the pace of this change but also how the Chinese adapt to so many more cars on their roads. Even If you have never visited Beijing or Shanghai you will probably not be surprised to learn that the roads at peak times are virtually gridlocked, a situation which will obviously only get worse given the acceleration in Chinese car sales. Also the same rules of the road do not seemingly apply. As one Shanghai resident and road traffic veteran was heard to say “Never give way….even if the other party have the right of way. If you give way, you will never get anywhere”. Surely, however, as the Chinese government seems to have a bottomless pit of money they will accommodate this rapid change with a typically robust and swift improvement to the infrastructure.
Although there will be many and various car makers eager to have their piece of the action it seems certain that smaller economic cars will be far and away the best sellers among ordinary Chinese people, many of whom may only just be embracing car ownership for the first time.
If sales continue to grow in future years at the same rate as the near 30% it is currently, dealers and manufacturers will be literally falling over themselves to compete for this growing market and it may well be that some other markets suffer as a result of this upsurge.
Remember this is real growth, as although china has introduced certain tax breaks there is no scrappage scheme to massage the figures as there are in Europe and the US. In terms of recession there is the rest of the world and there is China and it will no doubt be a very exciting and fascinating time to sell cars in in that country.
It will be equally fascinating to see if traditional sales tactics are as effective as they have been in the west. If there is anyone who has any experience of this expanding market and the ensuing sales culture they will be most welcome to enlighten the readership of MTI anytime they wish.