German automakers cater to Chinese tastes
China has now become the focus of the automobile world and the country's car preferences are affecting what models key German carmakers offer, Stern magazine reported on Sunday.
The influence the Chinese market has on manufacturers like Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and VW can be seen at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show at the end of this month, the magazine wrote.
For Germany’s luxury carmakers China has long-been the third largest market, behind the domestic market and the US one.
Porsche produced 151,999 cars last year, of which 33,590 were exported to China. In Germany the company sold 16,090 new cars.
The worldwide trend toward SUVs has also taken hold in China and German carmakers have adapted their models to fit this market, the magazine reported.
BMW has had an unexpected strong success with its X6, which is a combination of the X5 and Coupé models and is now studying a similar model for its X4 series.
Mercedes has been represented in this sector with numerous models but believes there is room for another SUV line. Its GLA is the smaller version of its GLK model and will make its debut at the Shanghai show.
The GLA is expected to compete with the MBW X1 and Audi’s Q3 or the Mini “Countryman,” the magazine said.
German automakers also plan to show new models in the sedan category at the trade show.