Bentley convertible

What China wants is what automakers like Bentley and Rolls Royce will deliver

It is the Chinese market that now drives the research and development for every auto manufacturer in the global market. Gone are the days when what Americans or Europeans wanted to drive were what really moved the market. The numbers of those consumers are dwarfed by the burgeoning and massive appetite and capacity for cars and trucks in China.

This influence has already begun over the design and engineering decisions car companies make and will only have an increasing impact as the next generation of cars develop, according to a post by Steve Colquhoun on Stuff.co.nz. One effect will be the sprouting of numerous start-up brands, a few of which have already setup in Australia resulting in pricing shifts at the lower end of the market.

What is most significant though is the Asian appetite among the new bourgeoisie for imported luxury and exotic cars in the name of status. The premium marquee of Bentley has boosted sales in China by 67 per cent this year over 2010, doubling the size of increases in most other markets.

As a result, the high-end competition of the British automaker, namely Aston Martin and Rolls Royce are getting into the lucrative Chinese market. Rolls Royce had their best sales globally in Beijing and Shanghai last year. Consequently, Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini are actively courting Chinese buyers. Can Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Tesla and Fisker be far behind?

The traditional one-of-a-kind, built to order model for the hand built exotics simply doesn’t function for the impatient Mandarin or Szechuan buyer.

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