Chinese RV Sales Boom Surprising to Retailers
Sales of recreational vehicles are booming in mainland China, to the surprise of even dealers.
The South China Morning Post reported that last month, a four-day exhibition of the home-like vehicles in Beijing ended with dealers reporting robust sales. About 40,000 visitors streamed into the show, and more than 500 vehicles were sold.
“It is crazy,” said Li Mengsha , a sales consultant with Beijing Camper RV, the largest distributor for RVs on the mainland. “Many vehicles came straight to the show from seaports. Most were sold before I had a chance to step inside for a look. And people have kept coming even after the show was over. Their enthusiasm has exceeded my wildest guesses.”
Recreational vehicles have been on the mainland market for more than two decades, but they had long been regarded as a luxury purchase for niche buyers because of their high prices and lack of supporting facilities such as camping sites.
But recently, the demand has exploded. “A few years ago, there were only a few thousand RVs in China. But now the total number might reach tens of thousands, though no official figure has been given,” Li said.
When the first RV and caravan show was held in 2010, there were only about 40 vehicles on exhibition, bringing a few million yuan in sales, according to Li. Last year’s show generated about 500 million yuan in revenue.
“The boom surprised everyone in the industry,” Li said. She listed possible causes behind it: rising middle class incomes, a new generation of retirees who were more amenable to the lifestyle, and climbing housing prices. “But none can fully explain the sudden growth. It just came.”
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