Audi top luxury brand for 2nd straight month

Automotive News China

Automotive News | 2018-9-18

Audi remained the top-selling luxury car brand in China for the second consecutive month with August volume rising 6 percent from a year earlier to 57,453.

The growth was driven by two locally produced models -- the elongated A4 sedan and the A3 hatchback, Audi said. 

A4L sales surged 30 percent to 14,857 while A3 deliveries jumped 15 percent to 8,299.

Last month, BMW AG delivered 53,520 vehicles under the BMW and Mini brands, an advance of 13 percent from a year earlier. It didn¡¯t disclose separate sales for the two brands. 

According to China Passenger Vehicle Alliance, a Shanghai-based consultancy, BMW¡¯s sales increase was led by the locally built 5-series sedan, whose deliveries surged 53 percent year on year to 12,213.

In August, Mercedes-Benz delivered 53,295 vehicles in China, a ride of 5.5 percent from a year earlier, according to Daimler AG.

In the first eight months, Mercedes-Benz still outsold Audi in the Chinese market: Mercedes-Benz deliveries advanced 14 percent to 445,075 while Audi sales jumped 16 percent to 417,234. 

Combined sales of the BMW and Mini brands increased 4.2 percent to 400,013 in the first eight months of the year.

New plants
Audi is well positioned to solidify its grip as the largest luxury brand in the market, aided by new plants the Volkswagen Group has opened and lower tariffs China enacted on imported vehicles earlier this year. 

In April, VW launched a plant in the northeast China city of Changchun dedicated to the production of the stretched Audi Q5 crossover. 

In the past few months, the German auto giant has also opened new factories in the east China city of Qingdao, South China city of Foshan and north China city of Tianjin. The Foshan and Tianjin plants build Audi models as well VW brand cars. 

Audi is also poised to benefit more than its two leading German rivals, Mercedes and BMW, from lower tariffs in China.

Beijing slashed custom duties on imported vehicles to 15 percent from 25 percent. On July 6, it raised tariffs on U.S.-made goods, including light vehicles, by 25 percentage points to 40 percent in retaliation for the Trump administration¡¯s tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods on the same day. 

Audi does not import vehicles to China from the U.S. 

But Mercedes-Benz and BMW import crossovers and SUVs from U.S. plants. 

Mercedes-Benz ships the GLE and GLS to China from its Alabama plant while BMW imports the X5 and X6 from a factory in South Carolina.

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