We hear a lot of complaining about exports from China to the U.S., but don't hear as much about our exports TO China, fueled by the increasing wealth and purchasing power of China's consumers. As China's economy grows, the middle and upper class there will continue to grow, and China will become an increasingly important consumer market, to the benefit of U.S. businesses.
In today's WSJ there is an article Rich Chinese Fancy Luxury Cars, about the growing demand in China for luxury cars, including Cadillacs and Buicks.
In the 1990s, many in China considered Volkswagens high class. But today, well-to-do Chinese are hankering for Bentleys, Ferraris, Mercedes, Audis, deluxe Cadillacs and even Rolls-Royces, reflecting the nation's growing wealth -- and a new boldness about showing it off.
"The rapid growth of affluence in China and the increasing desire for individuality and expressiveness" are making China "the most dynamic market in the world," says Ulrich Walker, chairman and CEO of DaimlerChrysler's Northeast Asia operations.
Engineers and designers for General Motors Corp. labor to make Buicks and Cadillacs sold in China more luxe than their North American counterparts. Cars have leather upholstery, lacquered wood trim and technical bells and whistles, such as in-seat TVs and remote controls for the audio and video systems. This week, GM launched the Park Avenue sedan, the top of its Buick line, here (see photo above). The price tag: $65,000 and up.
Bottom Line: Exports and imports are two sides of the same coin of international trade.