Business / Auto Policy

Cheaper scheme launched for imported cars

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-11 10:50

SHANGHAI - China launched a parallel import scheme for cars on Tuesday, a move expected to help bring down prices of luxury cars.

In the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), 17 dealers, including 8 from Shanghai and 9 from other provinces, are authorized by regulators to sell imported cars. Some dealers have accepted orders.

Chinese consumers normally buy cars from dealers authorized by auto makers. The prices of imported cars are often much higher in China than in other countries.

Cars sold under the parallel import scheme will be at least 10 percent cheaper than those in 4S shops, according to auto dealers.

A comprehensive maintenance center will be built near the Shanghai FTZ to provide after-sales service for cars sold through the parallel import scheme.

The Shanghai Commission of Commerce and the Shanghai FTZ Administrative Committee jointly issued a circular of the parallel import scheme.

The circular listed requirements for companies wishing to join the program, including having engaged in car transaction for five years or more and reporting profits over the past three consecutive years.

Responding to doubt over after-sale services of parallel imported vehicles, the circular required participating companies to shoulder duties of recall, after-sale service, replacement or refund of faulty products, among others.

Cars imported through this channel must meet China's relevant quality and technical standards, it added.

Gu Jun, deputy head of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, earlier said the pilot program would benefit market competition and the pricing of cars.

The move came as luxury car makers faced slowing economic growth and tightened regulation.

Regulators last year fined Chrysler and Audi after anti-trust investigations. In addition, 12 Japanese companies were probed and found monopolistic on prices of auto parts.

Jiangsu Provincial Price Bureau last year also launched an anti-trust investigation into Mercedes-Benz dealers.

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