Chinese High-Rollers High On Rollers

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
chinese high rollers high on rollers

Chinese mothers don’t admonish their one-and-only child to “eat up, there are children starving back in America.” But we’re getting there. Case in point: This weekend, another Rolls-Royce showroom opened in Shenzen, Gasgoo reports. It’s the seventh Rolls Royce retail location in China. Another one, located in China’s industrial center Ningbo, will open its doors in a few months. Rollers are on a roll in China. I counted two Phantoms alone in the underground garage of my Beijing building. At the Shenzen opening, Rolls presented their new Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé to the Chinese public. It’s their entry model. “Nearly two-thirds of Coupé customers worldwide have not owned a Rolls-Royce before,” said Jenny Zheng, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ General Manager for Greater China. BMW are thanking their lucky stars…

While Rolls-Royce’s parent BMW saw its global sales slide by 15 percent in September, Rolls flipped their Emily at the flagging economy, and increased sales by seven percent in the same month. Year-to-date, Rolls-Royce sales rose a record 43 percent year-on-year. Granted, that total was only 827 cars. But in this economy, every car counts. Especially as each example retails at $415k base – and no true Roller proprietor will get caught in a riff-raff reeking base model. “There’s been an 80 per cent increase in the number of vehicles sold this year with some form of bespoke element,” says the British Autocarmagazine with the appropriate nasal accent. Not surprisingly, sales in the United Arab Emirates are up by around 70 per cent. China? Fifty percent rise.

You think it’s a fluke? Further in the same vein(ity), New Delhi’s Financial Express reports “that Mercedes Benz India has registered an impressive 47% growth in car sales for the first 10 months of the current calendar year.” Sales of C-class Benzes more than doubled. Holy cow! And by the way, Time Magazine already said two years ago that Chinese children are getting fat.

Join the conversation
2 of 19 comments
  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Nov 03, 2008

    Despite of what some people may think, China has no interest at all in hurting America, or Europe, or - well - Japan. If these markets hurt, they won't buy Chinese, China goes "Tong! Tong!" (Ouch.) So China will play ball and actually help propping up flagging economies (as they did) because it's in their best interest. Only a healthy buyer is a good buyer. China's main theme may very well be "Make money, not war." However, if anyone thinks of doing funny business with them, better think again. If all goes according to predictions, there will be a democratic landslide tomorrow, and Democrats are always big on Protectionism. If that becomes reality, then things will get nasty.

  • Jeffn3545 Jeffn3545 on Nov 03, 2008

    @bertel, they are certainly trying to pull of a neat hat trick but as you point out, their economy is dependent on variables that are out of their control. They are sitting on a huge surplus but they also have a massive burn rate in the event the export market continues to fall off. Furthermore, they have had less success in moving up the value chain from commodity manufacturer, as evidenced by their dismal performance exporting automobiles. China is a fascinating part of the world but far from predictable.

  • 28-Cars-Later I would think this is a good thing. Assuming typical Chrysler resale hits the Hornet, its pretty close to an Alfa for less.
  • Luke42 I charge at home whenever I can using a 220V outlet in my garage and a Tesla Mobile Charger.Charging at home is *much* cheaper than DCFCs, and also more convenient. DCFCs are just for roadtrips. Superchargers (and other DCFCs) cost about 3x charging at home, so they're only worth it if you're on a roadtrip.My local grid is also pretty clean -- MISO can be as much as 48% wind + nukes (both zero-emissions) on a good day. A typical day is 1/3rd zero-emissions, 1/3rd NG, and 1/3rd coal.Every EV owner who can charge at home does, because it's the best way to charge.
  • Inside Looking Out Solar energy. It is in abundance in California.
  • 28-Cars-Later Hydroelectric of course.
  • Spookiness I have the ugly 2010 model with old fashioned 4AT and is has been the best used car I've owned, and for the longest. Still quite solid at 150k. I keep my eyes open for a 2012+ MT, but they are hard to find. DCT, no way. It's a shame bc otherwise the car is good.