By on May 27, 2015


A handful of factors are fueling China’s current SUV boom, with road-rage protection at the top of the list.

SUV registrations rose 48 percent during Q1 2015 while accounting for 27 percent of all registrations during the period compared to three years ago, Bloomberg reports. Sanford C. Bernstein senior analyst Robin Zhu says the boom is in part due to increasing incidences of road rage, prompting “sane” motorists to buy SUVs “for self defense” against “the angry ones” on the road.

Other contributors to the boom include rough roads (of the literal sort) outside the nation’s cities, lower fuel prices, and the introduction of low-cost SUVs and crossovers with prices beginning at ¥130,000 ($21,000 USD); 49 such models were or will be introduced by domestic automakers during 2014 and 2015.

[Source: Navigator84/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0]

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20 Comments on “China’s SUV Boom Fueled By Road Rage Concerns, Other Factors...”

  • avatar

    I personally want ALL OF CHINA to go electric as soon as possible. Then, I can not only avoid inconvenience when I visit – due to the sulfur in the air making me sick, but Premium fuel should drop in price.
    Same goes for India.

    …and since both countries lack America’s LAUGHABLE and RIDICULOUS political system, they should start immediately.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      China’s pollution has nothing to do with ICE cars. If it did, our air would’t be breathable either.

      I’ve been though the cities and suburbs in China. There are huts everywhere in the countryside where people just burn $hit because they’re dirt poor.

      • 0 avatar

        “China’s pollution has nothing to do with ICE cars.”

        Incorrect. They’re not the biggest source, but they are a source. Remember that when we had auto emissions standards on the level of China’s we also had unbreathable air in many places.

        • 0 avatar
          Master Baiter

          China’s auto emissions standards are pretty good. See below. When I was there, most of the cars were modern, did not smoke or smell like lawn mowers. They seemed identical to U.S. cars with regard to pollution that you could see or smell.

          “China enacted its first emissions controls on automobiles in 2000, equivalent to Euro I standards. China’s State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) upgraded emission controls again on July 1, 2004 to the Euro II standard.[7] More stringent emission standard, National Standard III, equivalent to Euro III standards, went into effect on July 1, 2007.[8] Plans are for Euro IV standards to take effect in 2010. Beijing introduced the Euro IV standard in advance on January 1, 2008, became the first city in mainland China to adopt this standard.”

  • avatar

    Can’t blame them, driving a bigger vehicle has a very real effect on would-be tailgaters, cut-offers, and other degenerates of the road. When I’m in my old 4Runner (ideally with some mud on it), it’s an appreciable difference in how I’m able to merge and maintain space around the vehicle compared to when I’m in my new Civic.

    • 0 avatar

      Every time I drive my ’76 LeSabre, people always give me space…even SUVs and trucks. Probably because it doesn’t look like I would carry proper insurance.

      • 0 avatar

        Flybrian and gtemnykh – – –

        Boy, do I ever hear you both loud and clear – – – –

        1) My 1996 Dodge Ram pickup with iron rods hanging out the back:
        No tailgating; no cutting off; no crowding; no fighting for a parking spot; no games.
        2) My 2006 BMW 325i:
        Massive tailgating and attempted intimidation; close encounters of the car kind; deliberate entry into parking spots when I pulled forward to back in with flashers on; all sorts of hostile games.

        Tw different driving experiences: one is courteous and reasonable; the other is rude and aggressive.


    • 0 avatar

      When all drivers drive SUVs, all drivers will be asshats.

      • 0 avatar

        Well in my experience, the asshats are evenly distributed, my point was that me being in the SUV dissuaded said asshats from too much asshatery in direct proximity of my steel-bumpered 4wd.

  • avatar

    Well, then, why the sam hill can’t we sell them crew cab pickups like Colorado/Canyon? Self-defense is one of the primary reasons they’re crazy popular here, too. Or have some of their 385 domestic manufacturers zoned in on this with triple-rehashed J-trucks?

  • avatar

    A generation ago, I remember it happening here too! (visions of white Bronco)

  • avatar

    True. In the Truck, folks see you and avoid. In the Golf, I get shut down by moms in minivans like I’m not ever there. In the BMW, they scatter when they see the kidney grille in the rearview.

    I’m driving all three cars the same way, same speeds, same merge patterns.

    This changes. When you need to get into a line of cars, the Golf goes first, the truck second, and suddenly no one can see the BMW.

  • avatar

    This is how I roll:

    • 0 avatar

      That’s a leave me alone car if I ever saw one. Ride around shirtless in the summer with the windows down and the classic rock blaring and people will give you a wide birth. Love it.

  • avatar

    I drive a Fiat 500 daily 40 miles round trip in Memphis and have had few problems.

  • avatar

    Chinese drivers are a curious species. You have drivers doing 80 kph in the fast lane, 150 kph in the slow lane, reversing on the highway because they missed their exit or interchange, driving onto a highway via an offramp or off a highway via an onramp, playing chicken with each other every time there is a merge situation or traffic or any kind, and yet, the only time they lay on their horns is when there is an absolute standstill and no one is moving and a blaring horn has absolutely no effect other than to add to everyone’s misery. Yes, it’s terrible over there.

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