Chinese cars 'in demand'
Manama, January 13, 2009
Demand for low-priced Chinese vehicles - from less than BD3,000 - is growing in Bahrain, as buyers look for a deal that matches tightened purse strings in the current financial climate, says a local dealer.
Mannai Motors managing director Talal Al Mannai was speaking as he opened the new JAC and Geely showroom, in Sitra, yesterday.
The opening followed the launch of a Geely passenger range and JAC commercial vehicles series.
Chinese Ambassador Li Zhiguo was the chief guest at the function.
Mr Al Mannai said products from Geely and JAC had been in strong demand since the soft launch of their latest models at the beginning of last August.
'The sales are so far very encouraging and more than what we were expecting,' he told the GDN.
'With Geely and JAC, it's a solution for people facing loan restrictions from banks.
'Because the starting price is in a lower price bracket, the down payment and instalments will be much lower and they can avoid the high restrictions with Japanese and Korean cars.
'I believe we launched these vehicles at the right time and people can get a decent car and can save on investment, fuel and ride safely.'
Mannai Motors has been the exclusive distributor of the JAC range of vehicles in Bahrain since last year and Geely passenger cars for Bahrain and Qatar since 2005.
The company is to launch another two new models of Geely this year - Panda which is a hatchback with a 1.1 litre engine and a FC sedan.
'Geely is a leading car manufacturer in China,' said Mr Al Mannai.
'They are having the best technology in their car and we are really keen to develop their business in Bahrain because they have a competitive advantage of high quality at a low price.
'Those who have experienced the car are very satisfied, it gives excellent value for money and more people are trying them now.
'The fuel efficiency is very high and the air-conditioning is very effective. We launched in August and that is the hottest month in Bahrain.
'We are targeting retail and fleet, from professionals to corporate employees, students and young families and couples.'
He said Geely's CK model had a 1.5 litre engine priced at BD2,900 for manual transmission and at BD3,490 for automatic with full options.
The MK model is a 1.6 litre engine and starts from BD3,690.
All cars are equipped with anti-braking systems, airbags and reinforcement bars.
Geely is supporting its production with a three-year warrantee or 100,000km.
JAC has cargo trucks ranging from three to six tonnes, with the price for three tonnes starting at BD4,600.
All come with air-conditioning, power steering and radio cassette.
'The JAC range is 15 to 20 per cent lower than its nearest competitor,' said Mr Al Mannai.
'It also has more features in terms of engine power, cargo space and fuel efficiency and offers better warrantee terms, of three years or 60,000km.
'Spare parts of (Geely amd JAC) are 40 per cent cheaper than Korean manufacturers and 50 to 60pc cheaper than Japanese.
'So customers are saving on the price of the car and ongoing maintenance.'-TradeArabia News Service