China issues list of approved vehicles for government purchase, excludes imports for first time

A black, Chinese-market Audi A6L is practically the poster-child for Communist Party officials who demand extra legroom rear legroom in a stretched version of standard sedan. The Chinese government reportedly spends 80 million renminbi ($12.7 million U.S.) per year on wheels for its bureaucrats, but according to a report in China Car Times the new list of approved cars available to officials is limited to Chinese models. That not only excludes the Audi – which is built in the country – but also BMW, Mercedes and the coming Infiniti M37 limo.

The list contains 412 models from makers like Great Wall, Brilliance, Roewe, Chery, Geely and SAIC, and the mix includes gas, diesel and electric powertrains for sedans, minivans, pickup trucks and SUVs. Displacements are constrained to 1.8 liters for sedans, 2.4 liters for SUVs.

Expected to be a boon to Chinese makers, the Chinese government also believes the new rules will be a boon to development: it wants the companies selected to reinvest three percent of their newfound gains into research and development. Neither Volvo nor Saab were mentioned in the report, and we wonder if BAIC's previous-generation Saab production and Geely's domestically produced Volvo models may have slipped in.

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