Monday, 20 June 2011

Lotus gears up to join China's sports-car pack

BEIJING - Lotus Cars Ltd announced its official foray into China on Wednesday, seeing the huge potential from China's surging super sports-car market.

The British sports-car maker has authorized Symphony Lotus Ltd as its importer and distributor around the nation with the launch of a new logo tailor-made for the Chinese market.

"The entry into the Chinese market is an important step for us to improve and perfect our global strategy. I believe China's strong economy, as well as the Chinese younger generation and newly rich's enthusiasm for niche sports cars will further fuel our business," said Dany Bahar, chief executive officer of Lotus.

According to the Hurun Wealth Report 2011 released in April, China is close to having 1 million millionaires with personal wealth of 10 million yuan ($1.54 million) or more.

Zhang Lichen, chief executive officer of Symphony Lotus, told China Daily that the first dealership and showroom for Lotus will open in October in Beijing, to be followed by others in Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou later in the year.

"We are investing in new dealerships throughout China to not only introduce the Evora, Elise and Exige, but also in preparation for the arrival of new Lotus sports cars, starting with the Esprit in 2013," Zhang said.

He also said that Lotus intends to sell 200 cars in China this year and plans eight additional dealerships in 2012.

China has become the focal point of the automobile industry not only because it replaced the United States as the No 1 global market in sales, but also because it has become the most promising market for luxury cars, especially super sports cars, showing the highest growth rate.

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