Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chinese take majority stake in German tuner Carlsson

It is clear that the Chinese appetite for luxury cars with monumental power and imperial luxury has barely begun, so automakers are positioning themselves to make sure they can provide a growing supply. Zhongsheng Group Holdings, owners of a dealer group that includes Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus showrooms, has taken a 70-percent stake in German tuner Carlsson according to a report in Reuters, and it has plans for its new purchase that offer enormous potential.

Saying that off-the-rack luxury cars have sold so well in major cities that they feel "like driving a Camry in Los Angeles," the Zhongsheng CEO is one of the new faces in the exotic customization segment. He plans to open a number of retail outlets for Carlsson, to use Carlsson to design bodykits and accessories for marques that his company sells, and to build a factory in China for local assembly.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. However, Reuters notes that Mercedes-Benz has officially approved the deal, which means warranties will still be honored for Carlsson customers everywhere.