British car dealers will soon be asked if they want to be part of a new distribution network aimed at delivering a wide choice of Chinese models at discount prices.Products from 14 manufacturers are being lined up under an ambitious bid to weld fledgling Asian firms into the next major automotive player across Europe.
The brainchild of French car trader Andre Abchee, the network could make hundreds of vehicles available to UK retailers keen to exploit the potential of an industry that has shown remarkable development over the past decade.
“Our aim is to have good quality cars to contest almost every segment of the market,” said Abchee.
“We will have lots of models on offer and they will cost up to two-thirds less than their competitors. This is the future and it’s exciting.”
Operating China Automobile France from rented showroom premises in a Bordeaux village, the 42-year-old salesman has already secured exclusive, European import deals with three car firms – Shuanghuan, Zhejiang Jonway and Shanghai Xingyue Power Machinery and is jointly developing an electric city car called the Chika with its Chinese designer.
With 10 more exclusive manufacturer agreements in the pipeline, Abchee and his partners – brother Albert and family friend Benoit Chambon – are establishing sales networks in France, Belgium and Holland. Next in line is Britain, where contacts have already been made.
“We could be operating there by late 2010. We are on the brink of launching a major threat to established European auto retailers and the UK is very promising,” said Abchee.
He expects to be selling large volumes in Europe within five years.
“We are happy to talk with either motor groups or independent outlets. I am confident we will find retailer partners who want business over the long term and are prepared to back up their sales with quality service.”