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Domestic MPV market brewing changes
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-09-23 09:40

By Chang Yanjun

China's multi-purpose passenger vehicle (MPV) market capacity is expanding continuously over its development. But the MPV market has not performed fully up to expectations in 2008. Statistics from China Association of Automobile Manufactures (CAAM) shows that 197,400 sets have been sold out in the MPV market, decreasing 12.56 percent year on year.

Since this year, the government's policies related to promoting auto consumption have vitalized the passenger car market, and the MPV market has also shown a brand-new face. In accordance with the statistics of CAAM, in this June, 18,800 sets of MPVs have been sold out, up 7.50 percent month on month and 3.7 percent year on year; in this July, which is considered as a low season for selling, the sales volume of MPVs is still up to 17,600 sets with the year-on-year increase of 19.68 percent although the number decreased by 6.43 percent month-on-month.

To the MPV segmented market, auto enterprises are full of passion. On the one hand, the autos with old types have always been being renovated in types for launching into the market; on the other hand, the autos with new types are also preparing for launching into the market actively. In terms of the old auto type, Guangzhou Honda launched new ODYSSEY, and Shanghai Volkswagen's new Touran and Great Wall Motor's 09-version new COWRY have been on the market; in terms of the new auto type, such autos as BYD M6 and Mazda 8 are expected to come into the market this year.

Insiders believe that most MPVs with a relatively large emission capacity are service and commercial autos, which are for the most part impacted obviously by the macro-environment. Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, enterprises have shrunk their budget successively, which leads to the low sales volume of top-end MPVs, but has brought new market opportunities for such MPV products with high performance-price ratio at the same time. Along with the alteration of consumption concept, enterprises have paid more and more attention to the performance-price ratio when selecting MPV products.

As understood, following the launch of the "09 GEM (Growth Enterprise Market)" of Foxauto with the price of RMB99, 900 yuan, Great Wall Motor's 09-version new COWRY has launched a lower price of RMB79, 800 yuan, showing the predominance in performance-price ratio. What' more, viewing from the market reaction, no matter the new-launched 09-version new COWRY or the "09 GEM" of Foxauto, they are all praised in the market.

Meanwhile, in the tendency of low emission capacity, the MPV market has also begun to appear something. According to the statistics of CAAM, in 2008, although the MPV market has slowed down on the whole, the 1.6 liter-below small-typed MPV market performs well, where the sales volume hits 18,400 sets, up 28.11 percent year on year, and its market share has elevated 2.98 percentage points than last year. Since this year, such MPVs with low emission capacity have also performed remarkably, Karry Youya has ranked the top 5 in the MPV market for successive three months from this May to July.

Though the MPV market has not recovered to its former stable growth, some positive changes have appeared. It is believed that with the gradual recovery of economic environment and consumption confidence, more positive changes will appear. Experts pointed out that currently what enterprises shall do more is to grasp the opportunity to upgrade products, improve the gold content of brands, only by which can the enterprises have opportunities to seize more market shares when the market environment recovers. 
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