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Porsche Taps China's Roadster Market
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Germany-based Porsche, one of the world's leading sports car producers, unveiled its latest generation red 911 Turbo on Tuesday at the opening of the 2006 China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition.


The firm used the event to showcase a range of its products.


"Our strong presence at the expo and our strategy to promote our latest generation cars here indicates our ever-increasing focus on the Chinese market," said Mark Bishop, managing director of Porsche China.


"China's market for roadsters has been developing very rapidly in the past few years," he said. "Porsche has set very satisfactory sales records in just a couple of years."


Porsche entered the Chinese market in 2001. It sold 857 cars in 2005, more than doubling the volume in 2004.


The firm has set a sales target of 1,350 cars this year.


Bishop said Porsche would soon launch several other models including the new Boxster, 911 GT3, 911 GT3 RS and 911 Targa 4/4S for the Chinese market.


And it will open four more Porsche centers in Dongguan and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, Haikou in Hainan Province, Harbin in Heilongjiang Province, as well as Changchun in Jilin Province, offering dealer services and tailor-made after-sales services.


Porsche already has 16 service centers on the mainland, both in the better-developed coastal cities and the less-developed western cities including Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing and Kunming.


The nation's huge market potential for premium cars has lured almost all of the world's top car brands to China, according to Li Lin, the Guangzhou municipal government's auto industry adviser.


"This is easily seen from their enthusiasm at the ongoing auto expo in Guangzhou," Li added. "Some of them are showcasing their concept cars at the event, while some others are taking good advantage of the event to launch their latest products for the first time in the world."


About 50 premium car brands are on show at the event including six concept cars and two cars that were launched at the expo.


According to Li, China's current premium car market of about 16,000 units is worth over 900,000 yuan (US$111,000), and generally relies on imports, while the premium roadster market stands at about 5,000 units annually.


Li said that market demand would keep a sustained growth in tandem with the economic development of the nation.


A total of 396 passenger cars including 151 imported cars are on display at the Guangzhou auto show, which opened on Tuesday and will run until next Monday.


(China Daily July 27, 2006)


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