CTI will be appointing six retailers in key provinces of China in the next twelve months and aims to sell between 30 and 50 Seven models in the first full year of trading. The first Seven cars will arrive in January 2012 closely followed by the full Caterham range comprising the Roadsport 120, Superlight 120, Roadsport 175, Superlight R300 and CSR 175.
Caterham Cars’ International Business Manager, David Ridley, said: “We are engaged in one of the most exciting new chapters in the Caterham Cars story and our entry into the Chinese market is another tangible sign of how Caterham is striving to become a truly global brand.”
The Far East, especially Japan, is already a strong market for Caterham sales although this will be the first time that the cars have been sold in China. The deal will build on their presence in the Pacific Asian region, which was enhanced by the sponsorship of Team Lotus Formula One.
As a sponsor of the F1 team Caterham’s global motorsport outreach will mirror that of F1, which continues to break new ground in emerging Asian markets, with Singapore and Korea recently joining China and Japan on the F1 calendar.
China has now overtaken the United States as the largest car market in the world and car manufacturers are eager to take advantage of the demand for new cars. More than 13.5 million cars were sold there in 2009 compared to 10.4 million in the US.
The Chinese government is encouraging the purchase of cars with tax breaks for smaller-engined, fuel-efficient cars, although sales of larger, luxury cars are growing steadily too; BMW have just announced that the first six month’s sales in China have been their best ever and Bentley sold 22% of its total output there last year. Aston Martin is currently seeking an import licence that they say will, if granted, “transform the company.”