Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz Grow Strong in China
"This result means we have further extended our market lead in China's premium segment,” Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi board member for sales and marketing, said in a statement, quoted by the Automotive News. Keeping up with the trend, BMW AG's sales in China more than doubled to 34,179 vehicles in the first quarter, while Daimler AG reported sales of 24,100 units, a figure which represents a 105 percent increase.
The best sold German premium model was the long-wheelbase Audi A6L, with 28,984 units, 35 percent more than in the same period last year. Another Audi, the A4L, was sold in 13,787 units, an increase of 213 percent as compared to the same period last year. Both models plus the Q5 compact SUV are built in Audi's joint venture factory with FAW Group in Changchun. Audi entered the Chinese market in 1988 and finished 2009 as the country's top-selling premium brand, with a volume of 158,941 cars.
The booming economy and policy incentives helped China report big auto sales in March. In 2009, more than 13.5 million vehicles were sold in China, according to the official Xinhua news agency. This made China the largest car market in the world, ahead of the U.S., where 10.4 million were sold last year.