With Western consumers are still recovering from the economic crisis, car producers are looking elsewhere for growth. BMW and Mercedes-Benz expect their sales in China go up 43% this year. This means selling about 100,000 cars each. Market leader in this premium segment is Audi, selling 200,000 annually.
Many Chinese people buy these luxury cars for the status that comes with an imported brand. And because of the huge potential of the market, manufacturers are keen to adapt their products to please their Chinese customers.
The Mercedes C and E class, BMW 5 and 7 series and Audi A8 models are all available in a extended version. Reason for this is that many Chinese customers have chauffeurs driving their cars, so they want to be comfortable and have enough legroom in the back.