Audi’s Chinese operations are under pressure from its own dealer network and the increase sales volume of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. This week, Chinese dealers forced Audi to retreat from a major sales and distribution initiative which stipulated the creation of a new second dealer network in China by partnering with the industry’s largest automaker, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.
In a show of power, Audi dealers said that they would not order any more products if Audi proceeded with its plans to add a second sales channel. Shortly after Audi representative announced that they would shelve talks for the new channel with Shanghai Automotive.
Audi has been the number one premium automaker in China since early 90s and this year is on track to sell over 600,000 vehicles, corroborating to 33 percent of all Audi sales worldwide.
But 2016 has been less prolific for the Ingolstadt-based automaker. Through the first nine months of 2016, Audi sales climbed just 6% while second-place BMW sales increased 17%. Mercedes-Benz showed the highest potential with a sales jump of 29 percent.