BMW Expects Sales in China to Slow Down image

BMW said it expects sales in China to drop this year as luxury automakers face a slowdown in economic growth.

If last year BMW’s sales in China were up 40% to 326,000 vehicles, for this year the automaker expects a single-digit growth. Ian Robertson, management-board member responsible for sales and marketing, said at the Shanghai auto show that he sees sales this year lower than those seen in the past.

“The market is maturing somewhat,” he said. “We’re expecting normalizing growth figures in coming years.”

BMW is aware of the fact that sales will be affected by the recent slowdown in China’s economic growth and by the austerity measures imposed by the newly appointed President Xi Jinping. Still, several luxury automakers say they don’t feel the effects of the austerity measures and recent government’s decision to drive Chinese-brand vehicles.

“We are very conscious of it, but we don’t see a big impact,” Hubertus Troska, Daimler AG’s board member responsible for China, said Saturday. “Certainly we have seen more dynamic times in China, but still see decent growth.”

Troska added that Daimler expects to sell more than 300,000 vehicles in China by 2015 and that the company will also increase its dealership network in the country from the current 262 to 337 dealers by 2013. During the first quarter Audi’s sales in China increased 14% to 102,800 units and the company sees ‘another successful year’ in the region.

Source: The Wall Street Journal