Chinese Government Urged To Buy Chinese. At Least A Bit More
If you are stuck in Beijing traffic, while police closes the center lane to give preferential treatment to a government motorcade, you will notice a penchant for foreign brands amongst Chinese government officials: White license plates (= government) are usually found on bigger bore Audis, BMWs, and Mercedeses (or “Benz” as they are called in China.) After all, they are made in China in joint ventures, and only petty people will point out that an Audi A8, a Volkswagen Touareg, or a Benz S Class are imports.
The tastes are about to change, albeit not too drastically.
Chinese authorities are publicly thinking about new regulations to increase the ratio of domestic brand cars to more than 50 percent in government procurement of official cars, reports Xinhua. The government is the biggest customer of cars in China, with an annual budget of around $15b. The total value of official-car purchase is 8 percent of the total value of car sales in China.
Not only are government officials being asked to buy Chinese. They are also urged not to splurge.
Under the proposed regulation, ordinary vehicles of all government departments nationwide should have an engine displacement of up to 1.8 liters and cost less than $23,500.
Ministers and provincial heads should make do with an engine displacement of up to 3.0 liters and a price below $66,000.
Domestic car manufactures welcomed the new regulations, saying they will be given a boost by the change. We’ll keep an eye on Beijing’s center lanes to monitor whether the new regulations will make a difference. Others are watching as well. So far, China’s Procurement Center of the Central People’s Government (PCCG) has deemed 721 vehicles as excessive or extravagant. A drop in the bucket, we’d say.
Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
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