It’s about to happen. Expect a flood of car imports from China to start within weeks.
One thing’s for certain, they are going to create big waves in the local market, primarily at the entry end.
There’s already talk of a small car that could sell for as little as $8990, but even if that’s a little too optimistic expect the price range to start at under $10.000.
The first vehicles to arrive are likely to be dual cab pickups, that will be imported by Ateco (who also import Ferrarri, Maserati and other luxury brands). Ateco announced at the Shanghai Motor Show that they have reached agreement with a Chinese car manufacturer, ‘GreatWall’ (true) to import the SA220, which will, of course, comply with all Australian Design Rule regulations and be supported by a nation wide network of over 50 dealers, and a new car warranty of 3 years and 100,000kms.
The Florid – first Chinese small car to enter Australia?
The expected price of this SA220 pick up will be a mighty competitive $16,900 according to Ateco’s Managing Director Ric Hull.
This will be closely followed by a small car, called the Florid in China, with a hoped for price tag well under $10,000.(see picture).
Don’t expect it to stop there, as several other Chinese Manufacturers are entering the field in Australia, and they mean business.
China is already the world’s largest new car market, and local manufacturers are increasing production at unprecedented rates and eagerly searching for new overseas markets.
So how will this affect the Australian car buyer?
Well, competition is good for us all, but the Chinese are going to have to work hard to gain a reputation for quality and reliability, in just the same way that Hyundai did when they pioneered imports from Korea over 20 years ago. In the first instance they are going to have to use highly competitive price points, strong new car guarantees, advertising and word of mouth to establish their credibility.
But in a market that is rapidly downsizing, looking for bargain buys and saving money, their timing couldn’t be more appropriate.
We’ll keep a close eye on developments, take some serious time out to have a thorough look at these new cars and keep you well informed on what we think you should be doing if you’re on the lookout for a small new car in the months ahead.