CHINA NEWSLETTER February 17 2017
 
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How sour dealer relations wreaked havoc on Audi's China sales
Yang Jian
SHANGHAI -- Audi cut itself a sorry figure in China's luxury car market last month. As Audi deliveries fell 35 percent in January, China's leading luxury brand was finally overtaken by rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW. It was an especially poor performance in a month when second-tier luxury brands such as Cadillac and Volvo enjoyed robust sales. Audi attributed the plunge to its dealers, but it has only itself to blame. Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.

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Mercedes, BMW top Audi in January sales race
Automotive News China
Audi, traditionally China's largest luxury brand, was outsold by Mercedes-Benz and BMW after angry dealers slashed their orders for Audi models. In January, Audi sales in China plunged 35 percent year on year to 35,181 vehicles. By contrast, Mercedes-Benz sales surged 39 percent to 58,799 vehicles, while BMW deliveries advanced 18 percent to 51,345 vehicles.
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Hyundai's deliveries climb 6.4% in January
Automotive News China
Hyundai Motor Co.'s China deliveries increased 6.4 percent year on year to 80,017 vehicles in January despite the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, which eliminated five selling days. The Korean brand outperformed the market; industry sales of light vehicles in China dropped 1.1 percent to 2.2 million vehicles.
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Skoda sales in China decline 4.3% in January
Automotive News China
China sales of Czech automaker Skoda declined 4.3 percent year on year to 30,000 vehicles in January, another sign of corporate parent Volkswagen's recent struggles in its largest market. Volkswagen Group has not yet reported January sales for all its brands in China. However, Audi sales slumped 35 percent year on year last month to 35,181 vehicles. (See related story in this newsletter.)

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GM unveils nine-speed automatic gearbox in China
Automotive News China
General Motors says it plans to install its new nine-speed automatic transmissions in a number of vehicles produced in China to meet the country's increasingly strict fuel economy standards. By 2020, the transmission will be used in 13 Chinese models under the Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac brands.
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Former Volvo China CEO joins EV maker
Automotive News China
Tong Zhiyuan, Volvo Car Corp.'s former China CEO, has joined FDG Electric Vehicles, a private Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer. Tong, 54, was named FDG's COO effective Wednesday, the company said in a statement. Tong joined Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. as vice president in 2009 to oversee the Chinese carmaker's acquisition of Volvo. He was Volvo's China CEO from 2010 to 2014.
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Chinese suppliers invest in U.S. component makers
Bloomberg
Chinese companies started talking a decade ago about cracking the U.S. auto market with an array of low-cost passenger vehicles. That hasn't happened, so instead they're getting under the hoods of American cars by buying up parts makers at a record pace.
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Ningbo Jifeng Auto Parts to buy stake in German interior trim supplier
Reuters
FRANKFURT -- German automotive interiors maker Grammer said it plans to sell a 9.2 percent stake to China's Ningbo Jifeng Auto Parts Co. as the supplier looks to counter activist shareholders. Grammer's management has sought to rebuff Bosnia's Hastor family, which owns a 20 percent stake in the company and has campaigned for seats on the supervisory board.
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 TOP 10 HEADLINES
OF THE LAST WEEK

Here's why you shouldn't panic over January's weak sales

FAW ex-chairman goes to prison for taking bribes

GM, Ford post steep sales declines in January

Fiat Chrysler's China venture turns a profit in 2016

Used-vehicle sales expected to jump 20% in 2017

Hyundai may buy Chinese batteries amid political tension

Why China's Lynk & CO plans to sell cars directly to consumers

Mercedes sales soar in January

Geely deliveries rise as new models stand out

Nissan venture fined for EV subsidy fraud



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