Global Update

China's Tuning Trends: Ford Focus Big in Southwest, European Vehicles Popular in the North

  China tuning
  Chinese tuning shops close to Ford and Volkswagen plants tend to specialize in parts and installations for those respective brands.

Tuner shops in China are looking for imported performance-enhancing accessories such as suspensions, turbochargers, intake valves and brakes. Shock absorbers, body kits and wheels are the top three modifications at Beijing Tuning Shop, a business owned by Zhang Yu that primarily works on Japanese cars. Body kits and wheels are popular with customers of Lu Feng's Taisen Car Service Company in Beijing. Lu says he mainly works on German models. Other shops SEMA talked to work almost exclusively on Fords.

SEMA members can introduce their products to potential Chinese distributors and tuner shops such as these at the SEMA CIAPE Business Development Conference in Beijing in late September. Participating SEMA members will be paired with relevant Chinese buyers in up to a dozen private, pre-scheduled meetings. One-on-one meetings with potential Chinese partners at this ground-breaking event will allow you to get to know them and the market.

Tuner shops say their clients typically spend up to $7,400 on modifications. The models they work on reflect which automakers are producing cars in China and where they're building them. Volkswagen has produced the Volkswagen and Audi brands through a joint venture in northern China near Beijing for decades. BMW produces cars in China near Beijing, as well. So it’s no surprise that Taisen Car Service of Beijing works on mainly VW, Audi and BMW brand vehicles.

Ford produces the Focus at a joint venture in Chongqing in southwestern China. And a local shop does a thriving business modifying Ford Focus, said the shop owner. Popular modifications include wheel rims, shock absorbers, exhausts and brakes and the company works with local dealerships to promote modification.

You can meet these and other Chinese wholesalers and retailers at the SEMA CIAPE Business Development Conference. For more information, contact Linda Spencer at or visit