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China's luxury car market maintains steady growth

China's luxury car market remains on a steady growth path despite weak market sentiment in overall car sales. Major luxury automakers posted steady sales growth in November.

China's luxury car market remains on a steady growth path despite weak market sentiment in overall car sales. Major luxury automakers posted steady sales growth in November, driven by high consumer demand.

Carlos Gomes, chief executive officer of Groupe PSA China & Southeast Asia, said during an interview with Shanghai Daily in late November that “despite 2 percent negative growth of China's entire auto market, China's luxury car market still has a positive growth rate of around 15 percent.”

In the first 11 months of the year, total sales fell 1.7 percent from the same period a year earlier to 25.42 million vehicles, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. However, industry analysts said that China’s premium car market still maintained stable growth this year.

According to a recent report from the China Passenger Car Association, China’s luxury sedan segment grew around 18.8 percent in the first 11 months of this year compared with the same period last year. The premium sport-utility segment rose about 3.5 percent between January and November.

Sales of passenger cars priced at more than 300,000 yuan (US$43,470) rose 6.8 percent to 114,000 units in November this year, data from the China Passenger Car Association showed. For the first 11 months, sales of passenger cars exceeding 300,000 yuan jumped 15.1 percent to 1.16 million units.

Major luxury car makers including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi all posted steady growth in November.

Mercedes-Benz sold 52,151 passenger vehicles in China in November, an increase of 2.6 percent year on year. In the period of January to November, Mercedes-Benz achieved growth of 11.7 percent and sold 603,089 units.

The German car manufacturer said that this November, together with the models delivered by its smart brand, it became the first premium automobile manufacturer to pass the milestone of 600,000 vehicles delivered in China within one year.

BMW said that the company saw double-digit increases in November sales figure in China. BMW sold a total of 60,990 vehicles in November, an increase of 10.3 percent from a year ago. In the first 11 months of this year, BMW sold a total of 577,058 vehicles on the Chinese market, up 6.4 percent compared with the same period last year.

Audi also said it achieved its highest November sales ever in China, selling 57,721 vehicles and surpassing the same month of the previous year by 2.7 percent. Sales of the A4L, a model developed especially for China, rose 20.3 percent to 13,842 cars in November. In total, 597,451 Audi vehicles have been sold from January through November, an increase of 13 percent year on year.

Audi also said it wants to increase its local portfolio to more than ten models through 2022. As early as 2019, the Audi Q2L e-tron, the brand’s first electric car exclusively for the Chinese market, will go into production.

An auto industry report published by WAYS Consulting Co on Friday said that BMW and Audi enhanced their promotion efforts at the end of November. Most of the models under these two car brands offered discounts, the report said.

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