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Luxury car sales in overdrive (4)

China Daily)  09:38, February 15, 2013  

The 11th authorized Rolls-Royce dealer in China officially opened in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on Feb 7, 2012. [Xiang Mingchao / China Daily]

A recent report from Hurun Research Institute showed that China's population of millionaires, with assets worth more than 10 million yuan ($1.6 million), topped a million for the first time at the end of 2011. In that elite group was an even-more elite group of 63,500 super-rich individuals, with assets of more than 100 million yuan.

The report also said that the number of high-net-worth people in China doubled from 2008 to 2011 and is expected to double again by 2015.

According to figures from French research company Robb and Ipsos, Chinese millionaires mostly favor leather goods and automobiles, which accounted for about 20 percent of their annual consumption.

Analysts forecast the trend is expected to continue for at least five to 10 years, with China's luxury car sales accounting for no more than 0.05 percent of overall sales, compared with 0.2 percent in Europe and the US.

Luxury automakers are aware of this, and so they are providing better services and new models to entice more discerning Chinese luxury consumers across the country.

Muller-Otvos told China Daily that Rolls-Royce expected to continue expanding its network of showrooms to more Chinese cities in 2013, especially in second-tier cities and in the western part of the country, without disclosing detailed numbers. It currently has 15 dealers in the mainland.

"And we are reinforcing our tailor-made services to Chinese customers," said Muller-Otvos. "We have received bolder and self-expressive custom-made requests from Chinese consumers. In 2012, we had a magnificent made-to-order drop head coupe delivered to a client in Shanghai, which features a fresh green tone inside and out."

Bentley also plans to expand its distribution network to 40 dealerships, covering all major provinces in China.

"The dealerships can help the headquarters better understand the requirements from our Chinese customers," said Lofkin of Bentley.

"Our headquarters employees have already been quite familiar with Oriental elements - dragon, flowers, and Chinese characters," said Lofkin.

"And we even prepare new colors, for example, dragon red, tailored for Chinese customers."

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(Editor:HuangBeibei、Li Zhenyu)


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