Chinese students big car shoppers
Increasing numbers of Chinese students are in the market for second-hand luxury cars in US as the number of students from China enrolled in US colleges and universities reached 235,597 during the past academic year.
Wang Momo, a Chinese student at the California Institute of the Arts, just bought a preowned BMW to celebrate her birthday during the Christmas holidays and posted many pictures of the car on her Chinese blog.
“The price of second-hand cars in the United States is so sweet!” the 28-year-old said on her Sina Weibo page. “This car was as cheap as a Chery QQ in China.”
An inexpensive production car in China, the Chery QQ is one of the most affordable and popular choices for middle class families.
“If you shop for a car on Craigslist rather than laying down money for a dealer, it can even be cheaper,” she said.
Her post was promptly retweeted by around 30,000 Chinese netizens overnight, many of them Chinese students in the US. Almost 10,000 of them wrote comments and nearly 7,000 gave a thumbs-up.
Some students said they retweeted the post because some US media’s reports saying Chinese students majored in luxury cars with hefty sums of cash made them uncomfortable.
“Only a few Chinese students might use cash to pay for cars, and the so-called paying cash for a car (without financing) usually means a bank check,” a Chinese netizen called Rihango said on his Weibo page. “Chinese students in the United States are not Beverly Hillbillies!”
“In most of the paying cash cases, the buyers are just unable to apply for a car loan because their stay in the US is too short to accumulate enough of a credit record,” he said.
According to Bloomberg News, Chinese students in the US are often from families that are better off than the typical American college student’s family.
Paying $50,000 for a highend car is viewed by them as an affordable status symbol because they know such cars can cost two- to three-times as much in China due to hefty import duties, the report said.
Zinch, a consulting firm, found that $15.5 billion had been spent on purchasing new and second-hand vehicles by Chinese students in the United States in 2012 and 2013 through October. During the same period, their US counterparts spent $4.7 billion on vehicles.
During the 22-month survey, CNW said more than 50 percent of vehicles bought by Chinese students in the US were new, and 32 percent of them were paid for in cash, it reported. The average purchase was $52,796. For used cars, Chinese students averaged a $36,500 purchase price.