Mercedes-Benz Leads China's Fastest- Growing
Premium Auto Industry
Luxury brands are making enormous strides in China's booming auto market and Mercedes has just made the biggest impact of all. Mercedes-Benz became China's fastest-growing premium brand in the first quarter of the year with sales more than doubling from the same period in 2009.In another strong signal of China's robust economic growth, first-quarter deliveries of Mercedes-Benz autos in China surged 105% to 24,100 cars, and the company says it aims to sell a record-breaking 100,000 units in 2010. China has now become Mercedes-Benz's third-largest sales market, behind Germany and the U.S., which both experienced declining sales for the second year in a row as their economies continued to struggle. BMW plans to more than double the production capacity of its joint venture with Brilliance Auto, to 100,000 cars by 2012, more than double its current production and sales rate of 41,000 vehicles annually. The huge expansion of China's auto industry continued across all brands in March. China's total auto sales grew 55% year over year to about 1.74 million units during the month. March sales broke the record posted in January, when 1.66 million vehicles were sold. We are seeing an expansion of consumer demand, just as most economists have been hoping for, as China tries to rebalance its economy away from reliance on exports. First-quarter auto sales jumped 72% year over year to 4.61 million units. An ongoing government stimulus program was also given credit for the sales jump. Over the last five years, the average annual sales growth rate has been 22.6%.
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