Global Update

SEMA’s Trip to China—Discover What it Takes to Succeed in the Region

By Linda Spencer

 SEMA China Trip, SEMA CIAPE China Business Development Conference
Buyers are expected from throughout China to attend the September 11–14 SEMA Business Development Conference in Beijing. Pictured here, Injen’s Ed Rossi (in red shirt), vice president of sales, meets with perspective customers at a previous SEMA China conference. Rossi and Ron Delgado (far left), the company’s president, will again participate in the 2013 event.

Members looking for new customers are encouraged to join the Association and fellow SEMA members on a trip to Beijing to explore the sales potential in the world’s largest car market. A rising middle class, a strong and growing demand for light trucks and a love of American products are three key factors companies can leverage to gain a foothold in China’s auto market, where sales hit 19.3 million vehicles last year, with the SUV/light-truck segment growing the fastest.

Participants in the September 11–14 SEMA Business Development Conference will:

  • Exhibit at a major trade show in the heart of Beijing—the China International Autoparts Expo (CIAPE). The expo is the official trade show of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
  • Visit retailers.
  • Attend a briefing with U.S. government officials in China.
  • Take part in a networking reception.

Program fees include hotels, meals, reception, exhibition space, a turnkey booth, an interpreter and local transportation.

To register for the SEMA China SEMA China Business Development Tour, use the online registration page or contact Linda Spencer at

Five Facts About the Chinese Market

  • China is the world’s largest passenger vehicle market, with sales totaling 19.3 million in 2012. The market is expected to grow to 30–35 million per year by 2020—more than the U.S. and European market combined.
  • A growing Chinese middle class estimated at up to 300 million people—and growing rapidly—is expected to fuel a strong future demand for cars and specialty equipment.
  • Chinese consumers are increasingly seeking out foreign products. They associate U.S. and other Western luxury brands with quality. With growing income, these consumers have the ability to purchase sought-after brands.
  • SUV and other light-truck sales are the market leaders in terms of passenger vehicle sales in China. Sales in this niche were up 20% last year compared to 8% growth for the market at large. SUV sales now make up more than 15% of all passenger vehicle sales in China and experts predict that this segment will grow to even 20%–25% of all passenger vehicle sales within five years.
  • The Chinese market is the second-largest market for Jeep after the United States. About 46,000 Jeeps were shipped to eager customers in China in 2012, where the average cost of a Jeep typically starts at around $100,000. Plans to begin local products should increase sales. Company officials report that the Wrangler, Compass and Grand Cherokee will continue to be shipped to China from their U.S. plants, with the Cherokee the most likely model to be produced at a new China-based JV venture.

SEMA Calculations from IHS data