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July 23, 2019

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Home » Business » Auto

It’s a buyer’s market as automakers cut prices

Automobile makers were locked in fierce competition at the 16th China (Changchun) International Auto Expo amid growing downward pressure in the industry.

Many offered price cuts to lure pickier Chinese consumers and emphasized their new-energy vehicles, a niche market whose sales have remained robust despite the struggles of traditional fossil fuel-driven vehicles.

The Changchun expo, from July 12 to July 21, was an important event for automakers to attract customers. This year, over 1,300 cars from domestic and foreign brands were exhibited in an area of around 200,000 square meters.

An Liguo, a sales manager from Changan Automobile, a major domestic brand, said that many consumers in China hunt for bargains and value both product quality and cost as there are many brands to choose from.

Some sales managers also said that although consumers are picky, discounts are still a very important factor in affecting the decisions of Chinese consumers.

“All automakers, no matter world-class brands or domestic brands, have to consider their pricing strategies more seriously today to avoid being put at a disadvantage. At the same time, quality and service are also absolutely necessary,” said Xue Ruixiang, a sales manager at Changan Automobile.

At the expo, local auto brands and joint-venture brands such as FAW, Volkswagen and BMW all offered big discounts. Even luxury brands such as Lexus and Audi have marked down their prices and have offered big gift bags.

Statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that China’s car sales remained sluggish in the first half of this year after a weak performance in 2018, registering a 12.4 percent drop year on year.

Apart from competitive price cuts, the NEV market is another battleground. To meet the rising demand for NEVs, special booths were set up at the expo where visitors could view the latest technologies, new materials and innovative designs.

CAAM said NEV sales surged 80 percent in June compared with the same period last year, while H1 sales rose 49.6 percent year on year.


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