Global Update

European Vehicle Sales Strong in China: Customization Popular for These German Brands

Car ownership in China is growing, and just like auto enthusiasts everywhere, Chinese drivers like to make their cars stand out. From expensive sports cars to off-road warriors, customization is increasingly popular among a wide segment of consumers in China.

Owners of expensive, imported super-luxury sports cars, such as Ferrari and Porsche, like to hang out with other owners and show off how they have customized their wheels, according to Figer Liu, founder of an automotive lifestyle website.

“We have a club for Ferrari and Porsche owners with hundreds of member,” he said. And membership is growing, which is not surprising, considering the rapid sales growth of those luxury brands in China.

Liu says that the most popular domestically produced models to customize are the Mercedes C- and E-classes, the BMW 3-Series and the Audi A4. In the first four months of 2011, sales of the domestically produced Mercedes E-class were 12,469 units, according to J.D. Power and Associates. C-class sales were 8,350 units. Audi A4 sales were 19,383. For all of 2010, the Mercedes C-class sold 28,287 units—up 79%. E-class sales more than tripled to 39,835 units. Audi A4 sales grew 43% to 58,466. BMW 3-Series sales rose 67% to 34,215 units.

To learn more about the Chinese market, contact Linda Spencer at or visit