In the wake of rumors that US dealers are trying to cash in on the demand for C7 Corvettes by adding as much as ten grand to the MSRP, we can say, “at least we’re not in China…” CarNewsChina.com reports that when the Stingray goes on sale in the People’s Republic in the first half of 2014, fans of America’s sports car will have to shell out something like 1.5 million Yuan, or about $240,000, to get their hands on one.
High import taxes on large-displacement vehicles are cited as one reason for the huge markup, but only typically account for a 100% upcharge on most luxury cars brought in from overseas. All imported cars get a base 25% tariff, plus a 17% value-added tax, and a sliding consumption tax based on the size of the engine.
Foreign manufacturers (and their local Chinese partners) account for all but a quarter of the total Chinese domestic vehicle sales, and luxury vehicle imports are nearly 6% of the market, with the sector expected to reach 2.7 million vehicles by 2020. That would outstrip the US market for luxury cars, making China hugely important for makes like BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Cadillac.
General Motors (and their Chinese partners) sold 221,580 vehicles in July, part of a market for passenger cars that exceeds 14 million units sold each year in total. The C7 will be the first generation of Corvette offered for sale in China through official channels, and it will be interesting to see just how popular the sports car will be with newly-affluent Chinese buyers.