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Slow times, fast cars

(Global Times)

09:44, November 29, 2012

Ordos, an Inner Mongolian boomtown that holds one sixth of the country's coal resources, is suffering from dropping mineral resource prices and a faltering real estate market. But for used car buyers, it is a paradise thanks to the downturn as local residents sell them as collaterals.

Since the start of 2012, people from all over the country have come to the city to buy a car, and there are many people seeking business opportunities in the field, the Economic Observer reported on November 23.

Xu Wenbo, a coal miner turned car scalper in the city just scored a Toyota Land Cruiser GXR 4500 at one tenth of the original price.

After successfully procuring several luxury cars at cut-rate prices for clients, Xu, who asked to use a pseudonym for this article, bought this vehicle, made in 2010, for just 110,000 yuan ($17,664).

Car town

Car scalpers like Xu are middlemen that coordinate between buyers and secondhand car companies, hammering out cheap deals.

A used car company manager in Ordos told the paper that the market has been rising, and high-end brands, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, are among the most popular.

Thanks to resources, the GDP per capita in the nouveau riche city beat all Chinese cities in 2011, exceeding Hong Kong. The city also has more than 7,000 yuan billionaires, according to a report by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

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