[dropcap]C[/dropcap]hina Rendez-Vous, the organizer of one of the most important Concours d’Elegance in Asia, Bund Classic, has reported a breakthrough forecast on Import Policy Change in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone, which could strongly impact the classic car sector. Recent developments send a new ray of hope for the Chinese classic car collector community, which is actively seeking to import and store classic cars in China. The coming changes could trigger the start of a golden age for classic cars in China.

The global classic car market is booming, marked by growing global sales as well as increased individual prices. According to the 2013-2014 Classic Car Auction Yearbook co-developed by Adolfo Orsi, one of the judges at Bund Classic, the total turnover of the biggest company in the market has rocketed from US$39m to US $860min the last 20 years. At the 2014 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held in California, the total sales volume of the principal auction reached a historical record of US $399m.Symbolizing the explosive growth rate of the global classic car market, vintage car purchases have stood out from other types of investments and become an important diversity option for both collectors and investors.

In recent years, there has been an increasing trend amongst the new generation of affluent Chinese to look at classic cars as a unique way of displaying their taste. Classic cars are not only an investment, but also a source of immense pleasure for the growing community of classic car collectors in China. Despite several barriers mainly related to the local regulations, the number of classic car collectors has been growing steadily in China, and we are convinced that this trend will steadily increase in the near future.

Although there is a huge population of potential Chinese owners, the growth of the industry has been slowed by several obstacles. One of the major hindrances against the development of this new culture and economy is constraints on car imports to China from abroad. To this date, classic car shows, rally racing, and donations are the only three ways to legally transport classic cars to the country. Importing classic cars for personal use or resale is still not officially allowed in China and until now transactions were only made on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, difficulties faced by first-tier cities in China in terms of pollution and extreme automobile traffic prompted the authorities to impose a ban on vehicles of over 15 years old. Although classic cars were not directly aimed by this policy, they were in turn impacted by this legislation. In May 2013, the government took a first step towards easing legislation for classic cars, by changing the mandatory write-off standards for automobiles from an obligatory retirement after 15 years to an obligatory retirement after 600,000 kilometers. As a result, it is now possible to drive a classic car on Chinese roads by driving less and adhering to the strict guidelines.

“Cars are not the only passion that the wealthier Chinese have trouble enjoying. They face similar challenges when trying to buy private jets and helicopters, due to the tight restrictions on their use enforced by the Chinese military that controls most of the country’s airspace. But in recent years the Chinese skies have opened up seeing the creation of flying schools, and creating a larger opportunity for the helicopters owners to release their passion in the sky. Now, a ray of hope has started emerging for the Chinese classic car collectors, too” comments Ms. Delphine Lignieres, Founder and CEO of China Rendez-Vous.

A proposal seeking a more relaxed treatment of the oldies was submitted to the national parliament in March. Renowned Beijing classic car collector Hou Xiaoming is extremely hopeful about the future of classic cars in China. “Let’s look forward to a huge step after the 12th National People’s Congress,” he says.

Ms. Delphine Lignieres also underlined that with the rise of the Chinese and other emerging Asian Pacific markets, more and more people have acquired vintage cars, and in turn the appreciation of such cars is growing exponentially.

“Taking full advantage of Shanghai’s geographic, financial, and cultural popularity and location, the Classic Car Export Policy Change in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone is both foreseeable and inevitable. By then, the Bund Classic Concours d’Elegance will bring all the members of the Asian vintage car scene together in one grand event. The start of a golden age for classic cars in China is near” she concludes.

[toggle title=”About Bund Classic” state=”close”]Founded in 2013 by China Rendez-Vous Ltd., Bund Classic is the first annual Concours d’Elegance dedicated to the Chinese and Asian Pacific classic, historical and vintage automobile community. In October 2015, the 3rd edition of the event promises to offer its guests a variety of onsite entertainments and cultural activities including a garden party, art and culture exhibits, a concert, afternoon tea, a Parade on the Bund and a Concours d’Elegance, redefining for all car lovers the real meaning of elegance and investable art pieces. The 2015 Bund Classic offers a fantastic opportunity to pay tribute to the classic automobile world. Over 11,000 qualified visitors are expected at this year’s show.[/toggle]

[divider style=”dashed” top=”20″ bottom=”20″]