BMW and Mercedes continue their impressive growth in China. A report by Bloomberg states that the sales growth are rapidly increasing at more than nine times the pace of wider industry. The two premium automakers sold combined 102,497 vehicles during the first quarter of 2011, a 76 percent increase over last year. Industrywide growth is reported to be 8.1 percent.
BMW’s 3 Series sales in China surged even after the tax breaks and subsidies ended. The 3 Series base price starts in China at $45,3000.
Mercedes is seeing great results as well. According to the same magazine quoting Klaus Maier, president and chief executive officer at Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz business in China, the factories are at full swing in Germany to support production capacity for China. Mercedes sales surged 86 percent in the first quarter to 43,991 vehicles, while BMW increased vehicle sales in China 71 percent to 58,506 during the same period.
The three German brands may beat forecasts for 2011. Audi has said it expects sales to rise 11 percent to 280,000 in China this year, while Mercedes projects growth of 15 percent. BMW predicts a “double-digit” increase in 2011.
At the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show, BMW will unveil a China-made plug-in hybrid version of the 5 Series Sedan, along with the new BMW M5 Concept. BMW introduced its smallest 1 Series to the company’s lineup in China last year and in 2013, the BMW i vehicles are expected to make their way into the congested Chinese cities.
“The luxury portion of the China car market is steadily growing and we’ve invested a lot in promoting the brand and improving after sales service in the past years,” Wu Xiao, chairman of Brilliance Automotive Holdings Ltd., BMW’s Chinese partner, said in Hong Kong last month. “I expect our growth to far exceed our competitors.