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High cost of imported cars in China


From Xinhua

Foreign carmakers, especially high-end brands, have long been accused of artificially raising the prices of their vehicles in China. Some say the high prices are simply due to high tariffs and distribution costs.... but others accuse manufacturers of cheating the Chinese public.

These luxury brands are eye-catching at first glimpse.

The newest makes and models are rolled out for those who want to drive and be seen in the latest luxury vehicles.

But many who are looking to buy an imported car are immediately shocked at the sticker price.

"I think the prices of domestic vehicles are reasonable. Imported cars are too expensive", a car buyer said.

"The Audi Q5 costs around 230 thousand yuan abroad, but in China, it's about 380 thousand yuan. This is very unfair to Chinese consumers." a car buyer said.

It's no secret where consumers are directing the blame. Industry experts have recently called for a revision of regulations in China's auto market to stop foreign carmakers from profiting at artificially high prices.

Peng Yiqiang, an auto expert with Xihua University, said, "We should formulate a policy that makes the car market more reasonable to Chinese consumers and creates a fair trade environment."

But according to Xinhua news agency, the current regulation, introduced in 2005, requires foreign carmakers in China to set up their own sales companies to handle imports, sales and maintenance of their vehicles.

The regulations force imported cars to be sold usually two or three times higher in price than what it would sell for in North America. Car dealers are quick to point out this fact.

Manager, Audi Dealership, said, "I think the prices are mainly caused by the tariffs."

Chen wants to purchase a high-end imported vehicle, and has been waiting for the price to drop for a while.

"I know the car sells for over a million here, but costs around 500 to 600 thousand yuan abroad. High-end vehicles have a greater price difference." a car buyer said.


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