German Luxury Car Sales in China Grew in January as Demand Rises
Wu Ziye
/SOURCE : yicai
German Luxury Car Sales in China Grew in January as Demand Rises

(Yicai  Global) Feb. 18 -- Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, the three most popular  luxury car brands in the Chinese market, all posted sales gains for last  month amid growing demand.

Mercedes-Benz  peddled the most cars among the three firms in January with 70,000  units while BMW realized the fastest growth of 15.5 percent.

Audi  sales grew 5.1 percent to 63,900 in China in January, while Mercedes  and Smart increased 5 percent to 72,800. Sales of BMW and BMW Mini  expanded 15.5 percent to 63,100, according to official data.

The  penetration rate of the Chinese luxury car market is lower compared  with foreign ones and great potential still exists, Cui Dongshu,  secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, told Yicai  Global, adding that the market can maintain a 10 percent growth rate  this year. "Sales of luxury cars by volume at the year-end are usually  higher than those at the beginning, and demand is rising," he added.

"The  Chinese auto market exhibited a downward trend last year with many  carmakers cutting prices to spur sales at the year-end," he said. "The  performance of luxury car brands has been good with Audi, Mercedes-Benz  and BMW making steady progress, he said, adding that the three  maintained rational growth last month. 

The  gap between the three major brands is not large at present, and  competition is fierce. Mercedes sales in China have been higher than  those of Audi and BMW since the beginning of last year. BMW is  increasing its investment in China with its new X2 sports utility  vehicle model expected to go into domestic production at the end of  August. 

"The three companies' respective sales rankings depend on whether their new products can drive demand, said  Luo Lei, deputy secretary general of the China Automobile Dealers  Association. "Policy uncertainties remain so there is no clear way of  judging their rankings for this year."

Editor: William Clegg

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Keywords: Audi , Benz , BMW