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by Matt Brogan

The booming Chinese car market continues to be one of the few bright spots for German luxury manufacturers, which have drawn few benefits from scrapping programs in the UK, US and Europe.

Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW all posted year-on-year volume gains of more than 35 per cent in the China last month in stark contrast to declines felt elsewhere.

Mercedes-Benz new E-class sedan and ever-popular S-Class models helped grow the brand’s volume in China grew by 56 per cent to about 6,800 vehicles last month.

Sales of its SUV models jumped 73 per cent to 1,200 vehicles helping to boost the brand’s overall volumes in the first nine months by 41 per cent to 45,400 vehicles.

“Mercedes-Benz is the fastest-growing luxury brand in China, both in September and in the three quarters since January,” a spokeswoman for Daimler AG said.

BMW has also experienced growth in China with sales up by 35 per cent to 7,628 vehicles in the month, and by 32 per cent to 59,460 for the first nine months.

Audi gained 37 per cent last month to more than 15,000 vehicles — the first time it breached that level. That helped it crack the 100,000-mark through September, increasing volumes by a fifth so far this year.

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Audi is far more heavily dependent on China for its performance than Mercedes-Benz or BMW thanks to parent Volkswagen’s strong presence in the market over the past two decades.

A few days ago, Audi and its Chinese joint venture partner began production of the Q5 SUV in Changchun, where it already builds the long-wheelbase versions of the A4 and A6 sedans.

With Reuters




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