- Title: CHINA: Recreational vehicles increasingly catch the eye of rich urban families
- Date: 15th June 2012
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (RECENT) (REUTERS) TRUCK PULLING RV DRIVING BY WANG DRIVING RV TURNING ON ROAD OF RV DRIVING ON ROAD WINDSHIELD OF RV DRIVING THROUGH CAMP SITE TRUCK AND RV PULLING INTO CAMP SITE WANG GETTING OUT OF CAR RVS PARKED BY LAKE IN CAMP SITE PEOPLE ROWING BOAT ON LAKE 40-YEAR-OLD HOUSEWIFE, LIU ALI, SLICING SWEET POTATO LIU'S HAND SLICING SWEET POTATO HAND SPRINKLING SPICES ONTO LAMB SKEWERS WANG BARBECUING SKEWERS
- Embargoed: 30th June 2012 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Economy,Lifestyle,Transport
- Reuters ID: LVAVUL4HFOW602YW0HT7PCWPC9Y
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Some urban Chinese families are hitting the roads on weekends not in ordinary cars, but in recreational vehicles (RV) -- quintessential Western chariots of leisure transportation used by "Snowbirds" in North America.
The Chinese RV market is still minuscule compared to North America. Chinese buyers bought an estimated 1,000 RVs last year compared to more than 250,000 sold in the United States.
Chinese fans and promoters of the vehicles say the business has potential with the RV China Association expecting sales to increase by 40 percent between 2012 and 2015 to about 4,000.
"Ten years ago when cars first entered the lives of Chinese families, car purchases exploded like a volcanic eruption and car manufacturing has prospered over a decade till now. It'll be the same with RVs. Everyone is just waiting to see what happens. When the problems surrounding it are resolved, the potential consumers will quickly start to buy," said Wang Xudong secretary of the RV China Association and a pioneer retailer of RVs in China.
Mobile homes are not an established vehicle category and are sometimes stopped on roads by police.
Domestic RV manufacturers currently dominate about 60 percent of the Chinese market and offer a range of choices for motorhome buyers. Wuzhouxing's high-end touring bus sells for up to 2 million yuan ($315,000), and Zhongtian's carriages costing up to 780,000 yuan ($123,000).
Dai Qihong, an aerospace engineer in his mid-thirties looking to purchase an RV soon, said that the joy of travelling in an RV is worth the hassle.
"When you are travelling, you don't have to worry about where to stay if you have an RV. You are more comfortable during the journey, because you don't have to rush from one place to another by a certain time. When you see beautiful scenery, you can stop any time," said Dai.
"Even when we go on trips not far outside the city, we have to stay at farm bed and breakfasts. We were not used to the hygiene and the sleeping facilities, so we considered this option, since the price isn't remarkably high. It's like taking your own house with you," said Liu Ali, whose family is part of a group of RV enthusiasts known as the "Red Ants" who sometimes gather at a campground in Beijing's southern suburbs.
Most members are senior businessmen and managers, who have the luxury of both money and time to enjoy the RV lifestyle.
Campgrounds are still far and few in China but small local companies are starting to invest in building campgrounds, primarily in coastal provinces such as Shandong, Zhejiang and Fujian, and to a lesser extent in popular tourist regions like Sichuan province.
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