BMW’s China Sales Gain 35% in August to Outpace Mercedes-Audi

BMW Vehicle
A Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) vehicle stands on display during the media preview of the China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest premium automaker, increased sales in China at a faster pace than Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG’s Audi last month.

BMW Group deliveries in China rose 35 percent to 34,166 units in August, the Munich-based automaker said in a statement yesterday. Mercedes and Audi, which include Hong Kong in their China sales figures, posted gains of 27 percent and 23 percent, respectively, according to the companies.

The three German luxury automakers, which all build cars in China, have quadrupled their local production in the last five years and now account for about 75 percent of the premium cars sold in the world’s biggest auto market, LMC data show. BMW has grown faster than Mercedes and Audi in China in the past two years and has projected that the country will surpass the U.S. to become its largest single market this year.

The maker of the 3- and 5-series sedans is seeking government approval to start the third phase of its assembly plant in Shenyang in northeast China and boost its annual production capacity to 400,000 vehicles.

Audi, the best-selling premium brand in China, sold 42,778 vehicles in the country. For the first eight months, the automaker delivered 312,683 units in the country, keeping it on pace to meet its 450,000-vehicle sales target for this year.

Mercedes, which counts the Smart and Maybach brands in its China numbers, sold 18,087 vehicles last month. The company merged two competing distribution networks in the country and has said it plans to open 75 new dealerships this year.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Alexandra Ho in Shanghai at aho113@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net