Shanghai Free Trade Zone Relaxing Car Import Restrictions

The Shanghai Free-Trade Zone allows the imports of foreign vehicles that could save consumers as much as 20%. The pilot program in Shanghai’s FTZ, which opened in September 2013, has prompted speculation that prices for imported vehicles could fall by up to one-fifth.

For example, BMW sells an X5 xDrive35i model for 928 thousand yuan, but a parallel import in the FTZ is on sale for 760 thousand yuan. In addition, it is reported that the government is revising the 2005 rules on imports, which have been criticized for helping foreign companies and their dealers control prices of vehicles and services.