Apr 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm #1272085
A rather solid piece about hyper development of malls and condos in China. It was this way 7 years ago and isn't getting better but worse.
China's Ghost Towns (from Australia Dateline)
Apr 13, 2011 at 7:09 am #1723958
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Here is an article from this week's Automotive News:
Automotive News — April 11, 2011 – 12:01 am ET
After two years of spectacular growth, China's auto market is quickly losing steam. And low-priced domestic brands are getting get hit hardest.
In February, sales of passenger vehicles rose just 2.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Right now the big losers appear to be the domestic Chinese automakers; the big winners could be German luxury brands. That's because the central government this year ended its scrappage incentive and raised the sales tax on small cars to 10 percent, up from 7.5 percent.
The new policy hurt domestic Chinese brands, whose overall sales declined 4.3 percent in February. Hardest hit were microbus makers such as Changan and Chery that have aggressively expanded microbus production since 2009. Last month, sales of the all-purpose vehicles — which might be used to haul geese to market in the morning, then the wife and kids in the evening — plunged 12.1 percent.
Meanwhile, sales have surged for luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz — which, like Audi and BMW, has introduced stretched models to cater to wealthy Chinese consumers' taste for big sedans. Mercedes-Benz sales in China surged 67 percent in February.Apr 13, 2011 at 9:40 am #1724011
>> vehicles used to haul geese to market…plunged 12.1 percent.
>> sales have surged for luxury brands
Interesting. Who would have thought that a generation ago?Apr 13, 2011 at 10:06 am #1724018
Those microbus vans are very small: as small as the one's Isuzu sold in the 70's and in the case of Beijing and probably Shanghai are not allowed to even come into the city . The German luxury cars especially the big black Audi's and Benz's are what Party members favor. They are probably a pretty decent hedge against inflation. The Chinese are now car fanatics. They love little expensive custom trinkets for them and they will drive to a fashionable grocery/department store in Beijing called Modern Plaza just to show off their cars when it would be much cheaper to take a taxi . Traffic on the Ring Roads in Beijing is now so bad that car quotas are being imposed . Many cities now only allow alternate day driving based upon the numbers on your license plate.Apr 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm #1724246
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
For me, it's not so much "worry" as "anticipate". A long string of success often leads to complacency, if not outright arrogance and recklessness. An economic 'correction' is sometimes just the medicine needed.
Our own mortgage / real estate collapse two years ago was horrible for individuals — but a very good thing for our economy in the medium to long term. Imagine if that bubble had continued on for another year or three…
Finally… gotta love those tacky "Venetian" canal and gondola!
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