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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Things Not Available in the U.S.:
American Cars Made for the Chinese Market

The big news in the automobile industry isn't about new luxury models American and German car companies are introducing in the U.S. It's about new models they are rolling out in China – ones that won't be sold here.

That is because a few years ago China topped the U.S. as the world's largest auto market. By 2015 it will become the biggest market for premium cars such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Cadillac, and the like.

"Home, Jiang. And step on it!"

It's already the largest market for Bentley. Of the 1700 cars sold worldwide in the first quarter of this year, 468 were delivered in China.

Luxury car makers are falling all over themselves with new designs and features that cater to Chinese preferences and tastes.

Nissan, Toyota, and Audi presented new premium models just for China at April's Beijing International Auto Show. These typically have a longer wheel base to allow more room in the backseat, a prime consideration for wealthy Chinese who like to be chauffeured around town.

BMW also showed a stretch version of its 3-series at the Beijing event.

Only for sale in China: a Jeep with dragons on it

More leg room isn't the only thing car makers are offering wealthy Chinese.

Chrysler announced that it is planning a dragon-themed Jeep Wrangler with gold-tone accents and dragon motifs on the outside and inside of the vehicle. China is Jeep's number two market after the U.S.

Too bad for you if you would like to drive one of these cars on your daily commute. To do that you'll have to get transferred to your Shanghai office.

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