China became the hottest real estate market in the world over the past few years and it is no secret that China is the world’s largest auto market. But what if both were combined?
China Car Times reported that RV and motorhomes are picking up in the Middle Kingdom, Chinese consumers are combining the best of their addictions at a rapid pace, beginning to see the appeal of a car that is also their home – a perfect getaway vehicle to escape the hustle and bustle of China’s major urban centers.
China’s RV industry is at the starting point, feet have just left the brakes but it is in a full-fledged sprint towards an imagined finish line of RV’s becoming a common site. In 2001 just one single RV was sold in China, but by 2010 900 units were sold with about 4,500 units on the road since then. Sales for 2012 are expected to be around 1500 units with total units expected to breach 6,000.
America on the other hand has around 8.9 million RV’s on the road and 16,500 official places to park. Korea has around 10,000 RVs and 100 official camp sites, but Japan is the Asian RV king with around 78,000 RVs and 1,350 places to camp. China has roughly 100 places with more being added at a rapid place.
According to China Car Times, Great Wall was one of the first companies to understand the potential behind the domestic RV market as it bolted a basic camper to the back of its then flagship Wingle vehicle in 2007. Since then the company has improved its product range and seen around 30 domestic competitors join the market with self-developed products or existing cargo vehicles that have been adopted for RV life.
International manufacturers have been eager to enter the Chinese market. Currently 10 such brands are in the Chinese market and more are expected to join in the next few months.
Chinese made RVs may be a hard sell in the Middle Kingdom. High prices coupled with slightly interesting designs are likely to put off Chinese consumers in the short term. Also those that want to have a small trailer or caravan may be off put by the government’s requirement that anybody towing any vehicle requires an ‘A1 or A2’ truck driving license, where as the vast majority of car owners opt for C1 or C2 licenses that allow them to drive regular seven-seat or lower-passenger cars.