With more than 400 SUV models in China, customers prefer body styles for various fuel types

If you thought the US and Indian auto markets were showing unprecedented love for SUVs, wait until China, the world’s largest auto market. With over 400 SUV models to choose from, Chinese consumers will be spoiled for choice, no matter their fuel preference. The makers were very keen to play Cupid in this romantic tale.

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Updated on:
May 8, 2023 at 09:07 am

File photo for representational purposes.

Chinese car buyers’ preference for SUVs has been on the rise for nearly a decade. In fact, according to Reuters, four out of every 10 cars sold in the Chinese market are now SUVs. And that share will only increase. But while the choice of gasoline or diesel power has gained traction over the past few years, all-electric SUVs now rule the roost.

Currently, there are about 100 all-electric SUV models available to Chinese customers, up from 76 in 2020. Some of the major players here are Tesla and its Model Y, while homegrown EV startups Xpeng and Nio are expanding body options to type as well. Even established global players such as Volkswagen, BMW and Toyota are determined not only to strengthen their respective EV portfolios in China but also to put electric SUVs on the market.

sell, sell, sell

Chinese auto customers are king. Not only is there a plethora of options, but manufacturers are waging an unprecedented price war. Tesla recently slashed the prices of its models in the Chinese market, prompting many other companies to follow suit. New models such as the Zeekr X from Geely’s premium EV brand Zeekr compete with entrenched rivals by offering nearly the same features and range but at a lower purchase price. BYD’s Song Plus SUV is $1,000 cheaper right now, at $27,000. Mercedes lowered prices on its models earlier this year. Others are also trying to play strong.

In the case of General Motors, the company’s declining profits in China have forced it to now focus much of its time on electric vehicles to regain its footing. Other companies such as Ford, Tesla and Renault are even shipping Chinese-made electric vehicles — SUVs and other body types — to European markets.

Competition at home in China is likely to spread overseas as local Chinese companies are also considering overseas expansion. The question is – will the mania for cars – especially SUVs – continue to fuel dreams?

(Input from Reuters)

First published date: May 8, 2023 at 09:07 AM CST


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