Auto Industry Enters Winter in Shanghai

I went to maintain the car the other day. When my dearest Goudaner were pulled into the maintenance area for its 8000 KM regular check, I chatted with my friends at the car dealership. The numbers of newly sold cars are increasing and every figure in the auto-industry are showing very positive trend, the message I got at the auto-dealer shop is just on the contrary. The message I got from my friend was, the automobile industry entered its winter.

It was not a busy morning for them. The big exhibition hall was almost empty. I didn’t see any new customer coming in the two hours. The salespersons could hardly see customers at weekdays. Sometimes they only talk with two customers per day. To be more accurate, I should call them “visitors” or “potential customers” because they just drop by and have a look.

The scene is completely different from the time when I bought my car in this March. The hall was full of curious and excited customers. I even have to sit into the same showcase car with other three strangers to experience the car. I had to since more customers were waiting outside to have a try.

My friend, a salesperson, was considering change a job and move out of auto industry. They were not comfortable to make a living with the base salary (which is about 1000 RMB or so) and there were no bonuses. In the current salary structure, the income of a salespersons large depends on the car they sell. They can easily get 10,000 RMB if the auto market is good, but now, it is the winter for them, and the company.

I didn’t know that.

Before I visited the same 4S shop, I didn’t see any hint of the big change from the newspaper. I though my friends inside the dealer company must be very happy to enjoy the booming of demand for cars. The fact is not.

P.S. After I post this article, I checked some news paper and found it was myself who saw only one side of the information. There are also some negative comments on the current auto industry of Shanghai.

The car I got for 99,000 can be purchased at 78,000 already and the price continues to drop.

P.S. Comment Spam

CNBlog and Eric complained about the comment Spam these days. To fight against this kind of spam, Eric removed the post button and ask all users to press Preview before they can see the Post button to post. CNBlog requires all comments to be reviewed before they are posted.

I am not going to implement anything like that on my blog. I won’t consider asking every commenter to enter a image verification code or other CAPTCHA methods in the future. (CAPTCHA is There are more than 200 comment spam attempts on this site every day (if I count my hosted sites, like /mvm, /fanfan, /claire, /gao, the number will reach 500 times everyday). Most of them are blocked by MT-Blacklist, which I can see from the activity log.

I still believe in open discussion – the not-censored real time communication. Wiki and MovableType’s open comment leaves a hole for those advertisers. However, I don’t want to scarify the community’s open discussion just for those annoying spams. I have other ways.

I strengthen the MT-Blacklist blacklist. I have added the following Strong filter patterns to my blacklist, for example:

[a-z\-\.]{2,20}\.{biz|info|name} #.biz, .info and .name domains are not welcome

I found in all my 6000+ comments, only those spammers uses .biz, .info and .name domains and there is no real readers are using them. So I banned these domains. I also banned the comments with certain sensitive words in URL. It turned out to be very effective. Here is my blacklist. Ironically, some sites on my blacklist are also on the Great Firewall’s blacklist. So when it appears in my binary stream from my server to my client, the Great Firewall sensed it and disconnected me from the Internet. So I never really be able to complete load the txt file I linked just now. The story is, Spammer A is my enemy. Spammer A is also Great Firewall’s enemy. So I am the Great Firewall’s enemy. :-D

My approach is not perfect. New spammers graduate everyday. So I need to keep an eye on the comments and delete those spams. The good thing is, I read every single comment on my blog, and it is not big burden for me. I have easy way to delete a spam with a single click of mouse.

8 Comments

  1. Mr. Wang

    You described the auto retailers are facing sales decline while the demand are still growing strong, could it be fierce competition at retail level or there are other factors leading the demise of the retailors.

    Could it be the rising fuel cost or the consumers have reached their demand cycle.

    Stephen

  2. Mr. Wang

    BTW, what made is your Goudaner, I through you are driving a Fiat.

    Stephen

  3. I guess people are still waiting for the next round of price cut. The more cars drop their prices, the more people will start to wait to see if better price will come soon. The oil price may not be the problem since most of the customers are buying their first car. Before I buy my first car, I have no idea about the impact of oil yet. My car is Seina 1.5, FIAT.

  4. hey jianshuo, thanks for the link to your blacklist. I updated it to mine. Hope it’ll turn out effective. :)

  5. Is your Siena automatic or manual transmission? I assume its manual with the 78,000 price tag. I am currently thinking of buying a car. Do you like your Siena? Or would you rather have purchased a Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, or GM Sail?

    Jared

  6. Mine is manual. I like it very much. Siena is a nice car, and I will recommend it.

  7. You described the auto retailers are facing sales decline while the demand are still growing strong, could it be fierce competition at retail level or there are other factors leading the demise of the retailors.

  8. Dear Mr. Wang,

    Reasons for sales declines at dealer outlets can be various in Shanghai. Not only are prices for cars higher in Shanghai compared to ‘in the province’, also more and more people choose to buy their car in other cities in combination with a local license plate (which holds limitations for Shanghai but is much much cheaper).

    Also, corporate (lease) sales are increasing rapidly, as well as car imports and the second hand market is, since private car ownership has now been legal for 7 years, growing rapidly as well.

    JDPA market reports show that dealerships in China in general and after service (income) in particular are not of the highest quality. Manufacturers struggle with margins on the cars themselves and can not compensate those with -normally- lucrative after-service income.

    A lot of training and maturing is needed in the Automotive Retail Industry in China, that is for sure..an interesting field to keep in check!

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