Chinese cars are starting to make inroads into Saudi Arabia and elsewhere across the Middle East mainly in luxury versions – and low gas consumption is not a major selling point.
What is selling them is price. They are much cheaper than other imported equivalents and are starting to become more popular not only in the Middle East but also across North Africa.
Sulaiman Altwaijri, a dealer in Jeddah, said, "The Chinese are also trying to conquer Europe, but they find the going difficult because they have to pass Europe’s strict crash test regulations."
Chinese car exports are expected to surpass one million units by 2011. Carmakers are setting up distribution and production partnerships with local firms.
Arab News reports that even with the growing strength of premium vehicles in the region, small, lower-cost Chinese branded cars are starting to prove popular. It is unlikely that electric driven cars will make much impact.