Chinese Officials! The Government Will Take Away Your A6L!

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

China supposedly plans to limit the number of cars allocated to central government officials to one vehicle for every 20 people working there. That news comes in a roundabout way. Bloomberg has it from China’s not always reliable 21st Century Business Herald, which in turn cites a State Council statement.

According to Automotive News Europe, this could undermine “sales prospects for the Volkswagen AG Audi brand, which dominates the official fleet.”

I’m not in China, and it’s too late to call someone there, but I’m sure Audi doesn’t lose any sleep about this. They yawned two years ago, when it was proposed that half of the cars bought by the Chinese government should be Chinese brands. That suggestion went nowhere.

At the time, it was proposed that ordinary vehicles of all government departments nationwide should have an engine displacement of up to 1.8 liters and cost less than $23,500. That also went nowhere.

Now the 21st Century Business Herald writes that the government cars “must have engines no bigger than 1.8 liters and cost no more than 180,000 yuan.” That’s $27,700, but in the meantime, the yuan appreciated. Same old, same old.

What did we write in 2009?

“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.”

Some things never change. Take away the A6L from the officials, and the harmonious society might be disturbed.

It would not surprise me if the ratio of government cars currently stands at 1 car per 22 people.

Join the conversation
  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on May 27, 2011

    So what is the purpose for the proposed limit? To save money, or other pragmatic reasons, or to avoid the appearance of being too bourgeoisie? PS: did the North Koreans have to pay a toll for Kim Jong Il's motorcade?

  • Tekdemon Tekdemon on May 27, 2011

    Probably not gonna happen since the people who rank high enough to get a government supplied Audi A6L are the same ones who'll shoot down the plan to take away their A6L lol.

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