Motorsport in China : a rolling business

motorsport ferrari

Chinese are passionate about speed, seeing all the Porsche, Mustang, and Ferrari succeed on the boulevards of major cities in China. These expensive and renowned sports cars give Face to their owner. Car manufacturers have a market that cannot be more successful than in the Middle Kingdom: a market that does not only target transportation but also enables leisure and competition through go-karts and Formula 1.

Go-kart has become a hobby in China

go-kart Shanghai
Shanghai International motor racing floor

A bright sun drove pollution in Shanghai. On this afternoon in March, the go-kart circuit in Jiading district is in full swing. The size of the outdoor circuit impresses its equipment just as much.

Located in the industrial area dedicated to sports cars like Audi and Porsche, just three kilometers from the Audi Shanghai International circuit dedicated to Formula 1 racing, professionalism is required. A dozen children in full wetsuits prepare before their passage on the track. Disciplined, these juniors from the club sit one by one at the controls of their mini-karts and perform a controlled start before accelerating at full speed. Despite their young age, their mastery of the engine is total.

The next tour is more heterogeneous: this is a first for most of these townspeople who came to enjoy a go-kart tour during their day off. Time is running out: an eight-minute ride costs 130 RMB. Although go-kart proves to be an expensive hobby, Shanghai Club displays full-day bookings.

This Shanghainese trail is not an isolated example. Many shopping malls are diversifying their activities in order to attract a family clientele: cinema, ice rink, indoor hook-and-loop, climbing track, artificial green spaces dedicated to relaxation, and inevitably … indoor go-kart. Nothing is more casual for a first date in China than going for a ride on a two-seater go-kart, although the machine is one of the least manageable models.

Formula 1 in the spotlight

Formula 1 China

The Audi Shanghai International circuit has demanded the biggest investment in the current history of Formula 1. It’s commissioning in 2004 for its Formula 1 Grand Prix demonstrates China’s desire to be one of the major car race organizers and the ambition to see one day its national pilots rank internationally.

Chinese Formula 1 driver are currently… missing the Grand Prix. They can be counted on the fingers of one hand in that field: Ho-Pin Tung to be a test driver at Renault, Ma Qing Hua at Caterham then Citroen, Sun Yue Yang at Renault also, and Cheng Cong Fu at McLaren.

The Chinese Grand Prix takes then place in China … without China. Difficult to compete with the expertise of the major German or Anglo-Saxon automobile experts, but China has never failed in its ambition to gain the level of other countries. It is therefore equipped seriously to achieve its goals. Perhaps we will already see a change in the free practice of the Grand Prix next edition, scheduled for April 15th, 2018?

 Luxury cars and Chinese city dwellers

sport car China

If the dream of Formula 1 is not within the reach of every talent, sports cars are already more accessible to the wallet of many Chinese city dwellers, who do not hesitate to invest and get into debt for their dream car.

Let’s not forget that in China the external material aspect (car, designer clothes) counts more than the interior aspect (house, real finance state). A car will be visible to all, while relatively few people even relatives will come to visit the house, knowing that dinner invitations are preferably held in restaurants.
A car is therefore essential to reflect the social rise of its owner until it allows him to get married and grant more professional credit. The smart and sober black and white German cars have the advantage in one’s professional life: Mercedes, Audi, and Porsche.

Sports cars are even more visible in big cities. It is then a parade of Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Mustang with chromed rims: the essential thing is to be seen, and especially … heard. Many less fortunate owners have trafficked the muffler of their casual car and added white side strips to give the change when the interior of the car is not completely redone in synthetic fur. The design of the car is in any case an aspect that the Chinese do not neglect!

Use the image of the car in advertising

The importance of cars is reflected in Chinese ads highlighting luxury goods: the happy buyer will generally tend to drive an expensive car in addition to having the object of advertising. The ‘Chinese dream’ so!

China, however, does not yet have the love that Western fans have for vintage and collectible cars. She prefers what is new and modern. This aspect is not to be overlooked if you use a car symbol in your advertisement.

Finally, there is a lot of car world symbol in the Chinese ready-to-wear, black and white tiles reminiscent of a racing go-kart on T-shirts. The Fast & Furious movies have worked extremely well in China, it has been very telling to the imagination of the Chinese, highlighting a form of freedom with speed and transgression of the rules, wealth with the possession of dream cars, and finally similar values to Chinese society with the primacy given to the family.

Make your product known in China

On the Chinese market, your e-reputation will definitely be the key to success. Chinese consumers particularly follow the KOL and exchange their experiences and purchase on dedicated social networks. Your e-reputation is then the first thing you need to develop and focus on.

You also need to use the same social networks as your customers. Forget about Facebook or Google, which are blocked in China: you will now sell through Tmall and Taobao, optimize your SEO on Baidu and find ambassadors who will help you to sell your brand on Wechat.

Marketing to China is a marketing agency specializing in the Chinese market. We advise you to export your activity to China. We can also advise you about SEO and help your website to get more visibility on Baidu.

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