Rolls-Royce’s Phantom was surely not the only supersized, stretched sedan to grace the Beijing show. Chinese makers have also gotten in the game. Above is the V12 BAIC C90L (more pix and description here), from a state-owned company that has partnered with Mercedes and Hyundai.
BAIC owns rights to two Saab platforms, one of which (the 9-5’s?) may underpin the C90L. The car was designed in Italy and Hong Kong and is very sharp with suicide doors and an “opulent” interior. A truly international car.
And Jaguar has its XJ Ultimate (shown after the break) with the now-mandatory champagne cooler, plus built-in iPads in the front seatbacks, an 825-watt Meridian sound system (20 speakers and 2 subwoofers) and God knows what else.
The supercars have not been neglected. Bugatti showed the Veyron Grand Sport Wei Long—a one-only product priced just north of $2 million. It has dragons and Chinese characters embossed on the seatbacks.
Similarly so in the Aston Martin Dragon 88, a customized treatment for 88 AM cars designed to extract serious money from wealthy Chinese besotted with “the mystical qualities of the dragon symbol, which is synonymous with power, strength and good luck in Chinese folklore.”
Okay, you get the idea. The auto market in China is hot and will remain so, with estimates of 30 million vehicle sales a year by 2020. Predictions are for “double-digit” growth in the luxo group in 2012, though a little slower than last year.
Compare that to what’s going on in Europe. We just heard that Ford’s Fiesta plant in Germany is closing for a week because of poor demand. More cutbacks are possible.
How long do you think the China market will stay hot for luxury cars? What, if anything, will slow demand?