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Dealers of Independent brands increase discount in May

BEIJING – Many automotive dealers of independent brands such as BYD, Brilliance-Zhonghua and Chery, have increased their discount ranges in May due to rising inventory and dropping sales, National Business Daily reported.

A BYD dealer said the prices of six models including the F0, F3, G3, L3, S6 and G6 in his store have been reduced by ¥3,000 ($474) to ¥16,400.

Meanwhile, the average discount range for the Zhonghua brand cars in April reached ¥4,000, and ¥50,000 in May.

The Chery brand Cowin, Fulwin and A3 cars had discounts of ¥5,000, ¥3,000 and ¥7,000 in April respectively, and rose to ¥6,000, ¥5,000 and ¥8,000 in May.

Some industry insiders indicated that the A-class and below markets, as the main target markets of most Chinese independent brands, have fierce competition pressure from joint ventures’ and their independent brands, and the Chinese independent brands have to promote their products by lowing prices.

In April, Chinese independent automakers sold about 520,000 passenger vehicles, up 5.1 percent year-on-year, while their market shares fell 2.8 percent year-on-year to 40.8 percent of the passenger vehicle market, setting a new lowest record, according to data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

In addition, based on the latest data from Beijing Asian Games Village Automobile Mart, the proportion of Chinese automakers (including independent and JV brands) with long-term inventory in May was raised to 32.65 percent from 18.92 percent in February, and that of automakers with 30-day inventory lowered to 22 percent in May from March’s 36 percent.

However, the main independent automakers like Great Wall Motor and Chang’an Auto still retain high inventory levels, while Chery and Geely’s inventory levels are relatively lower.

Thanks to the launch of many new car models after Auto China 2012, independent brands’ dealers have higher operation confidence than last year, according to a survey from Beijing Asian Games Village Automobile Mart.

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