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Women, young males eye fancy car market

By  Li Fangfang  (China Daily)

14:12, June 10, 2013

Many customers are second-generation children of entrepreneurs

"Let me guess. I bet it belongs to a Chinese lady," said Nigel Lofkin, factory tour guide and former leather trimmer of British premium brand Bentley, when he stopped by a woman who was stitching a small blooming orchid onto a piece of garnet leather for a car seat.

He bent over to check the information on the back of the leather and chuckled.

"Bingo! It's for a Bentley Continental GT going to China. And I think the flower represents the name of the owner, a woman," said Lofkin.

"Actually, my colleagues and I, in every department here (at Bentley's headquarters in Crewe, in the United Kingdom), are quite familiar with Chinese elements and some representative characters, because almost every day we prepare cars for Chinese customers.

"And we realized from some interesting tailor-made requirements that more of them will be delivered to female and younger customers than to any other groups in any corner of the globe," he added.

China has become an attractive market not only for the surging sales of ultra premium vehicles in recent years.

"We do see many interesting characters among our Chinese customers," said Torsten Muller-Otvos, CEO of British royal family-favored luxury automaker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

"Our Rolls-Royce car owners in China are 5 to 10 years younger than the average age for them globally. They are young, wealthy and trendy Chinese. And 10 percent are women," he said.

"What impressed us more in recent years is the change in our Chinese customers. More of them have started to drive their Rolls-Royce cars by themselves at the weekend, touring with their families," he said. "It's different from the original chauffeur-driven image for the Spirit of Ecstasy."

According to Muller-Otvos, most of his Chinese clients are motivated young entrepreneurs. "They do business by themselves and most of them have overseas study experience," he said.
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