Youth market drives double-digit growth and SUV sales
China’s car business experienced double-digit growth, despite government efforts to regulate car ownership and abate pollution. Quotas on the number of driver licenses issued and other restrictions impacted Tier 1 cities primarily. The growth rate of car ownership in Tier 2 and 3 cities exceeded 30 percent.
Even with the government’s initiatives to limit official extravagance, the luxury brands that comprise its fleets of cars continued to do well. Audi hit a record high sales figure, while BMW and Mercedes also achieved strong results. Korean and American brands, particularly Ford, enjoyed strong sales.
Sales of SUVs increased 50 percent for several reasons, including: the preferences of young buyers, and a consumer desire for a versatile vehicle to meet both business and leisure needs. Young buyers also influenced car design and marketing, which emphasized product personality, fashion and driving pleasure.