|Luxury imports, such as the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan, are extremely popular in China.|
Nearly two dozen distributors and buyers have contacted SEMA to introduce themselves and the products they hope to source at the SEMA China International Auto Parts Expo (CIAPE) business development conference, held in Beijing, China, September 23–26, 2010.
Performance and off-road products figure prominently in the type of products Chinese wholesalers and retailers want to source from U.S. companies.
SEMA members can connect with Chinese companies through face-to-face meetings with distributors at the conference. Participating SEMA members will be paired with relevant Chinese buyers in up to a dozen private, pre-scheduled meetings.
Among the performance-enhancing products that Chinese buyers seek include ECU-related products, from upgrades to high-end tuning software, and exhaust systems for BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. And as China lacks domestic companies able to produce suspensions that meet the demands of serious off-road enthusiasts, suspension products also are high on Chinese distributor wish lists.
The BMW 7-Series sedan and X-5 SUV are popular models. In 2009, sales of BMW light vehicles rose 39% over the previous year to more than 85,600 units, according to J.D. Power and Associates. Distributors also seek wheels, tires and aero kits for a wide range of vehicles.
China is also the world's largest market for the imported Mercedes Benz S-Class sedan. The C-Class and a special stretch version of the E-Class are produced in China, as are several Mercedes commercial vans. In 2009, more than 62,800 Mercedes-brand vehicles were sold in China.
China is awash in Jeeps because Chrysler produced the Grand Cherokee there until late 2005 and the Cherokee until 2007. Chrysler continues to import the Grand Cherokee, Commander, Compass and Wrangler. Since Fiat purchased Chrysler, the Fiat-Guangzhou Auto joint venture in southern China will reportedly begin production of Jeep models again, starting with the Compass. Off-road accessories, moderately priced ancillary lights for Jeeps, interior and exterior decoration and suspension products are on many distributor wish lists.
Some distributors are eager to learn what the top international brands are and introduce them to the China market. Introduce your products to these Chinese companies at the SEMA-CIAPE China business development conference.