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Depressed Sales Force Chinese Carmakers to SUVs

Pushed by strong competition and struggling sales, many of China’s top carmakers are falling back on the tried and true SUV to make their yuan.

One of the primary examples of a automaker changing focus is BYD, a Chinese carmaker that has made a name for itself these last few years in the electric car market. This model year, BYD’s flagship vehicles is a gas-guzzling SUV, the S7. The S7 is not the SUV your mom used to drive. No, it features a hard drive that can hold at least 1,000 Kung Fu movies along with a digital television, radar-assisted backing up technology, and an interior air purifier.

Talking about the packed S7, Isbrand Ho, BYD’s director of export sales, said “We are selling vehicles that have extensive technologies. These are all on … premium models for European marques but we are making it available to the everyday person.”

SUV sales jumped by 20 percent behind the Red Curtain last year. Overall, 18 percent of all vehicle sales are now SUV sales. Industry observers feel that SUV sales could reach 25 percent in China within the next couple of years, which would be double the market share SUVs currently earn in the U.S.

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