(Yicai Global) June 1 -- The prices of many popular vehicle models in China are on the rise as the global chip shortage leads to tighter supply, making luxury marques more attractive to the average buyer in the short run, according to Yicai Global research.
Prices are increasing across the board from today due to the chip supply issue, a sales staff member at a Chinese car dealership said on his WeChat account yesterday.
End sales prices have risen somewhat this year as car output drops due to the scarcity of chips, Lin Jie, vice president of Geely Auto Group and general manager of Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group Automobile Sales, told Yicai Global.
"The Lexus ES200 I pre-booked in April cost me CNY10,000 (USD1,570) more than the reference price, but now it costs CNY15,000 more," a consumer said.
"A BMW 430 is now selling for CNY50,000 above its reference price, when before it could be bought for a CNY40,000 premium," another customer said.
The auto chip shortfall will peak in the second quarter, China Merchants Securities said. Squeezed inventories will help widen the profit margin for new luxury car sales, spurring their growth in the first half, it added.
High-end auto dealer Zhongsheng Group Holdings has recently been marked as a ‘buy’ by a number of securities firms, raising its target price to between HKD77 (USD9.92) and HKD80 from the previous HKD70.
The brokers also expect Beijing-based Zhongsheng's gross margin on new car sales to jump by 1 percent in April from the first quarter as prices rise.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Kim Taylor