A special edition of Jeep Wrangler SUV is on display at the stand of GAC FCA in preparation for the 14th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, also known as Auto China 2016, in Beijing, China, 24 April 2016.
Automakers are showcasing a new generation of luxurious SUVs at China’s biggest auto show of the year as they battle for buyers in its cooling, crowded market. Honda Motor Co. on Monday held world debuts for two SUVs among dozens shown by global and local automakers. Sales of SUVs, the popular option on China’s rough roads, soared 52 percent last year, the only product segment that still is growing in the world’s largest market. Sedan sales contracted by 5.3 percent and those of minivans plunged 17.5 percent. “We’re seeing a surge of SUV sales in China,” said Renault-Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn, “In our opinion, this is a trend which is going to continue.” The SUV boom is a financial lifeline to the industry and has allowed local brands to claw back market share from global rivals by offering budget-conscious buyers SUVs priced as low as 45,000 yuan ($6,900). But the flood of new models is crowding the market and squeezing products. As many as 50 new SUVs are due to be launched in China this year by global and Chinese brands, according to research firm IHS Automotive.