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Cars And China: Tesla’s Nameless Start, Ctrip Tries Rentals

I thought I would end the week with two interesting auto stories, one spotlighting legal speed bumps in the market and the other highlighting big potential in the car rental industry. The first case has US electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) officially driving into China despite its failure to resolve a trademark dispute, meaning it has no official Chinese name as it enters the market. The second case has leading online travel agent Ctrip (CTRP) tying up with a car rental start-up, representing its latest move into a related area with strong growth potential.

Each of these cases involves different issues, though both spotlight some of the big growth opportunities for more niche-oriented companies in China’s fast growing auto sector. All of the world’s top car makers now manufacture in China. But that’s a very expensive business, and other companies have been chasing more niche-oriented spaces in the market. Online car information provider Autohome (ATHM) is one of those and successfully sold investors on its growth story with a highly successful IPO in New York last week. (previous post)


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