Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Car Retailing - China - March 2014

“New car sales exhibited positive growth in 2013, with almost 22 million units sold and representing a 13.9% year-on-year increase versus the previous year. As the car market posted a surprising double digit growth rate in 2013, following the much slower growth in 2011 and 2012, there is more to look forward to in the China market, for both car manufacturers and dealers.

Car purchasing intentions are still strong; a positive sign which is supported by Mintel’s volume forecast that total volume sales of new cars will continue to grow, and are expected to keep growing by an estimated CAGR of 9.4% over the 2013-18 period.

Online information channels are the new favourites for information gathering: They are mostly used by consumers aged 30-39, the age group housing the bulk of current car owners and those consumer with the strongest car buying intentions for the future.

Family function in cars is a crucial factor in car usage; hence it shapes the focus of manufacturers’ products and dealers’ distribution significantly.

It is imperative to apply different strategies to different target groups as they are different in their attitudes towards car purchasing and retailing. The 4S model needs to change if it is to remain competitive in this ever changing market environment, where online purchasing is starting to emerge as a viable sales channel.”

– Can Huang, Senior Research Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How to better target consumer groups who are distinct to each other in terms of car purchasing preference for both pre-sales and aftersales?
  • How will the car retailing model evolve in China? For the current mainstream 4S model, how could it improve to face new challenges?
  • Will online car purchasing thrive in China? And what are the pros and cons of this new channel?

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Report structure
          • Methodology
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

                • The market
                  • Forecast
                    • Figure 1: Forecast – volume sales of new cars, 2008-18
                    • Figure 2: Forecast – volume sales of used cars, 2008-18
                  • Car market in 2013
                    • Figure 3: Car volume sales, by new cars, 2008-13
                    • Figure 4: Car volume sales, by used cars, 2008-13
                  • SUVs grew strongly to become the second largest car segment
                    • Figure 5: Share of Car volume sales, by segment of passenger cars, 2008-13
                  • Alternative-fuel cars still in infancy
                    • German makers further extend their lead among international brands
                      • Figure 6: Market share of passenger cars by volume, by car origins, 2010-13
                    • Multinational joint ventures dominate
                      • Figure 7: Market share of top ten passenger car manufacturers by volume, by passenger cars, 2013
                    • Market drivers and barriers
                      • Retail Channels
                        • Car retailing development trends
                          • Key policy updates in 2013
                            • Dealership groups
                              • The consumer: car ownership status
                                • Figure 8: Household car ownership status, December 2013
                              • The consumer: car purchase plan
                                • Figure 9: Car purchase plan, December 2013
                              • The consumer: resources used for last car bought
                                • Figure 10: Resources used for last car bought, by comparisons, December 2013
                              • The consumer: channel of last car bought
                                • Figure 11: Channel of distribution used for last car bought, December 2013
                              • The consumer: attitudes towards car aftersales services
                                • Figure 12: Attitudes towards car aftersales services, December 2013
                              • The consumer: attitudes towards car and car retailing
                                • Figure 13: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, on any agreement, December 2013
                              • Key issue: How to target consumers through differentiation
                                • Key issue: Improvements required for current 4S model
                                  • Key issue: Does online car retailing have a chance?
                                    • What we think
                                    • The Market

                                      • Key points
                                        • Car market in 2013
                                          • New car sales exhibited positive growth
                                              • Figure 14: Car volume sales, by new cars, 2008-13
                                            • Used car transaction still stunted
                                              • Figure 15: Car volume sales, by used cars, 2008-13
                                            • Segmentation
                                              • SUVs still grew strongly…
                                                • SUVs and MPVs emerge as two fastest growth segments
                                                    • Figure 16: Volume growth rate of car sales, by car type, 2008-13
                                                  • …and became the second largest car segment
                                                    • Figure 17: Share of Car volume sales, by passenger car and commercial car, 2008-13
                                                    • Figure 18: Share of Car volume sales, by segments of passenger cars, 2008-13
                                                  • Alternative-fuel cars still in their infancy
                                                    • Figure 19: Share of alternative-fuel car sales, by electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric cars, 2013
                                                  • German makers further extend the lead among international brands
                                                    • Figure 20: Volume sales and growth rate, by Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, 2013
                                                    • Figure 21: Market share of passenger cars in volume, by car origins, 2010-13
                                                  • Multinational Joint Ventures dominate
                                                    • Figure 22: Market share of passenger car manufacturers in volume, by passenger cars, 2010-13
                                                    • Figure 23: Market share of top ten passenger car manufacturers in volume, by passenger cars, 2010-13
                                                  • Market drivers
                                                    • Economic growth continues
                                                      • Figure 24: GDP and growth rates, China, 2008-13
                                                    • Urban and rural income rise
                                                      • Figure 25: Annual per capita net income and actual growth rate of urban and rural residents in China (RMB), 2008-13
                                                    • Urbanisation
                                                      • Still room for car parc growth
                                                        • Change of car ownership dynamics
                                                          • Booming luxury cars
                                                            • Alternative energy push
                                                              • Growth barriers
                                                                • Restriction on licence plates
                                                                  • City congestion and traffic pressure
                                                                    • Parking space limitation
                                                                      • Car exhaust emissions impact on environment
                                                                        • The risk of structural excess production
                                                                          • Forecast
                                                                            • Figure 26: Forecast – volume sales of new cars, 2008-18
                                                                            • Figure 27: Forecast – volume sales of used cars, 2008-18
                                                                        • Retail Channels

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Car retailing development trends
                                                                              • Dynamics of production and retailing
                                                                                • The 4S model still dominates but multiple channels start to demonstrate greater potential
                                                                                  • The benefits of alternative retailing models in lower tier cities
                                                                                    • Online car purchasing has taken off, but still has a long way to go
                                                                                      • Key policy updates in 2013
                                                                                        • Implementation of Provisions on the Liability for the Repair, Replacement and Return of Household Automotive Products
                                                                                          • Discussion on revising the Administration of Automobile Brands Sales Implementing Procedures”
                                                                                            • Announcement of the Specifications of Used Car Appraisal
                                                                                              • Dealership groups
                                                                                                • Figure 28: Top ten China auto dealer groups, 2012
                                                                                              • Retailer profiles
                                                                                                • China Grand Automotive Service Co., Ltd.
                                                                                                  • Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., Ltd.
                                                                                                    • Zhejiang Materials Industry Yuantong Automobile Group Co., Ltd.
                                                                                                      • Online platform:
                                                                                                        • Tmall
                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Car Ownership Status

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Consumers are mainly purchasing new cars
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Household car ownership status, by car buyers, December 2013
                                                                                                              • Currently car buyers are likely to be middle-aged, with higher incomes, and from tier one cities
                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Household car ownership status, by car buyers in demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                • Multiple car ownership is still rare
                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: household car ownership status, by multiple car ownership, December 2013
                                                                                                                  • Room for a further car ownership boost…
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Household car ownership status, by car non-buyers, December 2013
                                                                                                                    • …and these potential buyers are likely to be young, single, and from lower tier cities
                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Household car ownership status, by car non-buyers, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Car Purchase Plan

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Car purchase intention is strong…
                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Car purchase plan, December 2013
                                                                                                                        • …especially among younger professionals, people with family and children
                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Car purchase plan, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                          • Current car buyers show more interest in buying cars in the near future
                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Car purchase plan, by car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Resources Used for Last Car Bought

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Online becomes the most important information source
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Resources used for last car bought, by comparisons, December 2013
                                                                                                                                • Online information channels are most popular with people in their 30s
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Resources used for last car bought, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Word-of-mouth and dealership visits are still key channels for consumer interaction
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Resources used for last car bought, December 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Limited influence of TV advertising and emerging appeal of mobile phone apps
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Resources used for last car bought, by TV advertisements and mobile apps, December 2013
                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Channel of Last Car Bought

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • 4S shops are still the mainstream point of purchase for cars
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Channel of last car bought, December 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Current 4S shop users tend to be older, married, and wealthier people
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Channel of last car bought, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Consumers starting to embrace more alternative purchase channels
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Channel of last car bought, by comparison, December 2013
                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Car Aftersales Services

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • The quality of aftersales services offered by 4S shops is recognised, but price is a likely barrier
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Attitudes towards car aftersales services, by service quality and price, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Consumers are not looking for the lowest cost, but for value-for-money services
                                                                                                                                                    • Quality aftersales services needed
                                                                                                                                                      • Half of consumers prefer to purchase new cars to avoid potential maintenance problems
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Attitudes towards car aftersales services, by car usage, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • The quality of aftersales services will impact future consumer purchase choices
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Attitudes towards car aftersales services, by satisfaction of aftersales services, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Car and Car Retailing

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Further improvements required for 4S shops
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, by improvements to the 4S model, by any agreement, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Online car buying channels are welcomed
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, by attitudes towards online car purchase, by any agreement, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Convenience is an important factor in purchase choice
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, by car buying process, by any agreement, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Key Issue – How to Target Consumers through Differentiation

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer segmentation
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Target groups, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                    • Enthusiasts (33% of sample)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Conservatives (21% of sample)
                                                                                                                                                                        • Casualists (19% of sample)
                                                                                                                                                                          • Skeptics (27% of sample)
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, by target groups, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • What it means
                                                                                                                                                                            • Key Issue – Improvements Required for Current 4S Model

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • No longer the golden standard in car retailing, but the 4S model remains important
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Channel of last car bought, by comparison, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Ways for improvements
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Leveraging car dealership groups
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, by agreement with “4S stores of well-known dealership groups offer better car purchasing services”, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Enhancing the in-store experience
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, by agreement with “I would like to see more advanced technologies that can facilitate my car buying process”, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attention on female power
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Car purchase plan, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                  • What it means
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key Issue – Does Online Car Retailing Have a Chance?

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Online purchase savvy nation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Online car purchase channel starts to emerge
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Online car buying activities in 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • The pros and cons of online car retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • O2O has the potential to aid online car purchasing
                                                                                                                                                                                                • The success of Tesla
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • What it means
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Car Ownership Status

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Household car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Most popular household car ownership status, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Next most popular household car ownership status, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Other household car ownership status, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Repertoire analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Repertoire household car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Repertoire household car ownership status, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Car purchase plan, by repertoire of household car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Car Purchase Plan

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Car purchase plan, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Car purchase plan, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Car purchase plan, by most popular household car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Car purchase plan, by next most popular household car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Resources Used for Last Car Bought

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Resources used for last car bought, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Most popular resources used for last car bought, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Next most popular resources used for last car bought, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Other resources used for last car bought, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Resources used for last car bought, by household car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Resources used for last car bought, by channel of last car bought, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Channel of Last Car Bought

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: Channel of last car bought, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Most popular channel of last car bought, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: Next most popular channel of last car bought, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Channel of last car bought, by household car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Channel of last car bought, by car purchase plan, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Attitudes towards Car Aftersales Services

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Attitudes towards car aftersales services, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Most popular attitudes towards car aftersales services, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Next most popular attitudes towards car aftersales services, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Attitudes towards car aftersales services, by household car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Attitudes towards car aftersales services, by car purchase plan, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Attitudes towards Car and Car Retailing

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Agreement with the statement ‘There is still room for improvement in terms of the expertise of sales consultants in 4S stores’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Agreement with the statement ‘Overall, I am satisfied with the services provided by 4S stores’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Agreement with the statement ‘4S stores of well-known dealership groups offer better car purchasing services’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more advanced technologies that can facilitate my car buying process’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: Agreement with the statement ‘The prices of services offered by 4S stores currently are not transparent enough’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: Agreement with the statement ‘Buying a car from online retailers is appealing to me’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: Agreement with the statement ‘The after sales services offered by online car retailers are not sophisticated enough’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more online car retailers to choose from’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 93: Agreement with the statement ‘The quality of the car sold online is as good as those sold offline’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 94: Agreement with the statement ‘The current car buying process is too complicated’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 95: Agreement with the statement ‘Lower prices is always prioritized over offering good sales service when buying a car’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 96: Agreement with the statement ‘The one-stop car buying service offered by car zones/car cities makes the car purchasing process more convenient’, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 97: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, by household car ownership status, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 98: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, by car purchase plan, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Further analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 99: Target groups, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 100: Target groups, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 101: Household car ownership status, by target groups, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 102: Car purchase plan, by target groups, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 103: Resources used for last car bought, by target groups, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 104: Channel of last car bought, by target groups, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 105: Attitudes towards car after sales services, by target groups, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 106: Attitudes towards car and car retailing, by target groups, December 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                  To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Car Retailing - China - March 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                  US $3,990.00 (Excl.Tax)