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China Luxury Cars Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Luxury Cars market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this Report

Mintel defines luxury cars by brands. In total 13 brands are defined as luxury car brands, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Cadillac, Lincoln, Tesla, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo.

Market size and market share are calculated based on the domestic sales (including imports) of the passenger cars of these brands. Mintel sets thresholds on monthly household income of the respondents in order to better investigate the purchasing behaviours and the attitudes of luxury car owners and potential buyers. Tier one city respondents with lower than RMB 20,000 monthly household incomes, and tier two and three city respondents with lower than RMB 18,000 monthly household incomes, were screened out.

Excluded

  • Legacy car brands, eg Borgward and Hongqi.
  • Super luxury brands, eg McLaren, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.
  • Hyper car brands, eg Shelby, Koenigsegg, Bugatti and Pagani.
  • Commercial vehicles, eg buses and trucks.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Aaron Guo, a leading analyst in the Automotive sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Chinese luxury car buyers have divided opinions towards cabin interior designs. Although they will welcome creative designs, they fail to reach an agreement on a specific direction. 30-39-year-olds prefer those sophisticated cabin designs having a driver-facing central console and real buttons; while younger generations prefer simple and clear central consoles and touchscreens. Door panel design is worth highlighting in car commercials, given that the layout of control buttons on doors receives the highest mention rate among all the interior design features. Aaron Guo
Senior Automotive Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Excluded
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of luxury cars sales volume, 2013-23
            • Companies and brands
              • Figure 2: Market share of luxury car brands, by sales volume, 2015-17
            • The consumer
              • Popularity is more important than uniqueness
                • Figure 3: Luxury car brand feature association, March 2018
              • BBA leads in favourability…
                • Figure 4: Favourite luxury car brand, open question, March 2018
              • …with diversified perceived brand character
                • Figure 5: Correspondence Analysis – Brand characteristics, March 2018
              • Interior design could be highlighted
                • Figure 6: Preferred interior design details, March 2018
              • Young people prefer simple and clear cabin designs
                • Figure 7: Attitudes towards interior designs, March 2018
              • Overall high acceptance with a practical demand
                • Figure 8: Demand level for self-driving functions, March 2018
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • What parts of interiors are worth investigating?
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Figure 9: The door panel design of Lexus LS500
                    • Sophisticated, driver-focused versus simple, clear cabin design
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Figure 10: Central console designs of Mercedes-Benz new A series and G series
                        • Are local start-ups and sub-brands challenging luxury car brands?
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                              • China is now the largest luxury car market
                                • A faster growth than general passenger car market
                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                  • Significantly faster than overall new passenger car sales
                                    • Figure 11: Sales volume and growth rate of luxury cars and total new passenger cars in China, 2011-17
                                  • China replaces America to be the largest luxury car market
                                    • Figure 12: The US and China markets’ luxury car sales volume and share, 2012-17
                                  • A CAGR of 15.6% over the next five years
                                    • Figure 13: Best- and worst-case forecast of luxury cars sales volume, 2013-23
                                • Market Factors

                                  • Tariff cut and ownership structure adjustment
                                    • The replacement wave and trading up Chinese car buyers
                                      • The low-price competition
                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                        • Audi saved its first position in terms of sales, with a slight lead
                                          • The four core trends within the domestic auto industry
                                            • Creative thinking in vehicle design and distribution
                                            • Market Share

                                              • Intensified competition between BBA
                                                • Figure 14: Market share of luxury car brands, by volume, 2015-17
                                              • The thriving ‘second-tier’ luxury car brands
                                                • Figure 15: Sales volume of luxury car brands, 2015-17
                                              • The legend of Lincoln continues
                                                • A similar story for Japanese brands
                                                • Competitive Strategies

                                                  • Electrification
                                                    • Intellectualisation
                                                      • Municipalisation
                                                        • Vehicle networking
                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                          • Infotainment
                                                            • Luxury Vehicle Subscription
                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                              • Popularity is more important than uniqueness
                                                                • BBA leads in favourability, with diversified perceived brand character
                                                                  • Design and the functionality of doors could be highlighted
                                                                    • Young people prefer simple and clear cabin designs
                                                                      • Overall high acceptance with a practical demand
                                                                      • Appreciated Luxury Car Brand Features

                                                                        • Technology has the strongest halo effect, followed by the history
                                                                          • Figure 16: Luxury car brand feature association, March 2018
                                                                        • Popularity, instead of the uniqueness is more important
                                                                          • Ethics matter, especially among luxury car owners
                                                                            • Figure 17: Gap between luxury car owners and general car owners (as benchmark) on brand feature association, March 2018
                                                                          • Price may not be a criterion
                                                                          • Favourite Luxury Car Brand

                                                                            • BBA leads in the rank of favourability…
                                                                              • Figure 18: Favourite luxury car brand, open question, March 2018
                                                                            • …followed closely by four super luxury car brands led by Porsche
                                                                              • Figure 19: Favourite luxury car brand, coded from open question, March 2018
                                                                            • Different nominating motivations
                                                                            • Luxury Car Brand Character

                                                                              • Mercedes-Benz has the most balanced brand personality
                                                                                • Figure 20: Correspondence Analysis – Brand characteristics, March 2018
                                                                              • Infiniti needs to work on building brand awareness
                                                                                • Figure 21: Percentage of surveyed consumers who claim ‘I am not familiar with this brand’, March 2018
                                                                              • Distinct perceived personalities of tier two luxury car brands
                                                                                • Figure 22: Perceived brand personality of American brands, March 2018
                                                                                • Figure 23: Perceived brand personality of Japanese brands, March 2018
                                                                                • Figure 24: Perceived brand personality of British brands and Volvo, March 2018
                                                                            • Preferred Interior Design Details

                                                                              • Divided requirements on interior designs
                                                                                • Figure 25: Preferred interior design details, March 2018
                                                                              • Door panel design could be a hidden breakthrough point
                                                                                • Figure 26: Interior requirement – TURF Analysis, March 2018
                                                                              • Door storage and rear A/C outlet arrangement worth investigating
                                                                                • Figure 27: Gap between luxury car owners and general car owners (as benchmark) on the preferred interior design details, March 2018
                                                                              • Pursuits of car buyers aiming at different brands
                                                                                • Figure 28: Preferred interior design details, by favourite car brand, March 2018
                                                                            • Attitudes towards Interior Design

                                                                              • Welcome creative and rule-breaking designs
                                                                                • Figure 29: Attitudes towards interior designs, March 2018
                                                                              • Different attitudes between 20s and 30s
                                                                                • Figure 30: Attitudes of 20s and 30s towards the selected interior design features, March 2018
                                                                              • The battle between buttons and screens
                                                                                • Diversified demands of different brand buyers
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Attitudes towards the selected interior design features, by different brand buyer group, March 2018
                                                                              • Self-driving Function Requirement

                                                                                • Overall high acceptance
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Demand level for self-driving functions, March 2018
                                                                                • 40-49-year-olds have the highest requirement on autonomous driving
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Percentage of respondents who claim ‘it is a must’, by age, March 2018
                                                                                • Self-driving function preference related to income level
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Percentage of respondents who claim ‘it is a must’, by monthly household income, March 2018
                                                                              • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                • MinTs prefer driver-centred cabin designs
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Attitudes towards selected interior designs, by consumer classification, March 2018
                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                  • Figure 36: Total market volume of luxury cars, 2013-23
                                                                              • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                • Methodology
                                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                    • Abbreviations