How are rich people in China showing off their success?
Owning one or more luxury and even ultra-expensive cars appears to be one of
the most popular ways.
Boosted by the ever-increasing numbers of people getting rich as a result of
the nation's booming economy, demand for these cars is in the fast lane,
offering rich pickings for the world's top luxury carmakers.
British brand Rolls Royce, owned by German carmaker BMW, said it expects to
sell 70 Phantom vehicles this year in China including Hong Kong which will
enable the world's most populous country to unseat Japan as the firm's No 3
single market after the United States and the United Kingdom.
On Thursday in Hong Kong, Rolls Royce delivered its largest order yet 14
Phantoms to Sir Michael Kadoorie's Peninsula Hotel.
To further boost China sales, the brand plans to add three dealerships in
Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu. It now has one each in Shanghai, Beijing and
In a telephone interview on Friday, Jenny Zheng, general manager of Rolls
Royce Motor Cars Greater China, said: "China's thriving economy is creating very
successful people in all business areas at a staggering pace. This is a big
opportunity for us and other luxury car manufacturers."
"The more important thing is that our customers here are much younger than
those in other markets," Zheng said.
Rolls Royce owners in China are on average more than 10 years younger than
elsewhere, she added.
Maybach, another ultra-luxury car brand, which is controlled by Mercedes Car
Group, is also enjoying fast sales growth in China.
Anthea Wang, a spokeswoman of Mercedes China, said: "Maybach's sales here
will more than double this year from 2005," but she declined to reveal a
China is very close to one of Maybach's top five markets in the world, she
To lure Chinese buyers, Maybach's 62 Special Edition made its global debut at
last month's Beijing international auto show. The model retails in China for a
cool US$1 million.
Maybach now has two exhibition and sales centres in Beijing and Shanghai.
Wang said it is considering building a third centre in Guangzhou "in the near
Many of the ultra-luxury cars displayed at the 10-day Beijing auto show were
sold, raising more than 100 million yuan (US$12.8 million), a fact that
demonstrates the immense purchasing power of rich Chinese people.
However, Yale Zhang, the Shanghai-based director of emerging markets vehicle
forecasts for auto consultancy CSM Asia in Shanghai, said ultra luxury cars will
account for a tiny ratio of China's entire vehicle market as only those super
rich people will buy them.
(China Daily 12/16/2006 page1)