POSTCARD FROM HONG KONGi
There are not enough roads in Hong Kong for all of the vehicles in the territory to be driven at the same time. The place has some of the highest per-capita totals of luxury cars in the world - the most Porsches, the most Rolls-Royces.
Global automakers may not be concerned about the Hong Kong market, which amounts to fewer than 30,000 cars per year, but it is a strange one. There is, for instance, an official gray importers' association. It may be of more use than the Motor Traders' Association for franchised importers, which collects vehicle sales figures, but then refuses to allow anyone to make them public. Now the government says it will take over the task, causing howls of protest from the group.
One renegade dealer showed me the figures: In 2000, there were 27,036 passenger car sales, up 7.5 percent from 1999. Toyota was the leader, with a 19 percent share. Honda had a 13 percent share and Mercedes a 10 percent share.
Now that didn't hurt a bit, did it?