Chinese Now Hold 70% Stake in Carlsson Autotechnik GMBH


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Mar 6, 2012
Kuala Lumpur

Major Chinese auto retailer based in Beijing, Zhongsheng Group Holdings Ltd, has announced that it has acquired a 70% stake in a certain German tuner; Carlsson Autotechnik GMBH, in order to meet the rising demand for powerful, go-fast and customized cars by wealthy Chinese car owners.

<!--more-->Chairman of Zhongsheng, Huang Yi, said that aggressive plans are being formulated for Carlsson in order to take advantage of Zhongsheng's vast network of dealers, which stretches from the northern Heilongjiang province right down to the southern Guangdong province.

Currently, no disclosure has been made as to the price paid for Carlsson nor were there any mentions about the level of revenue that Carlsson has ensured the Chinese company. However, Zhongsheng’s sales for car accessories alone reached as high as 300 million Yuan last year.

Over the last few years, with many wealthy individuals and government officials having bought so may luxury cars, many car manufacturers already in China have recently experienced a 100% (double) increase in sales, if not more.

There are so many luxury cars on Chinese roads seem to have lost their head-turning abilities, which made sense to Zhongsheng to acquire Carlsson in order to provide something different for the wealthy niche Chinese consumer market.

"The problem is there are so many Mercedes, BMW and Audi cars in Shanghai and Beijing that those cars sometimes feel like mainstream cars, like driving a Camry in Los Angeles," Huang said.

And since Mercedes-Benz recognizes Carlsson, it means that many buyers are able to retain their Mercedes warranties when they install Carlsson aftermarket parts.

Plans are to be in motion very soon by both companies to establish a small chain of Mercedes-Carlsson retail outlets as well as a manufacturing facility within China to produce Carlsson customization accessories and kits for brands that Zhongsheng represents.

The Chinese auto retail group currently has 140 stores that keep a variety of car brands from Lexus, Volvo, Porsche, Toyota, Nissan and of course Mercedes, tucked away under their belt.

According to Beijing-based market research firm Sinotrust, about 90% of 1,237 car owners that were contacted in a survey indicated interests in purchasing accessories, with about 53% giving the reason that they want to be able to "express their personal taste."

Source: Reuters