Manufacturing News

Audi struggles while Skoda prospers in October

Audi AG's China sales rose just 0.6 percent year on year in October to 47,032 vehicles, an anemic result that contrasted sharply with rival Mercedes' continued success.

In the same period, Mercedes sales rose 28 percent.

Over the first ten months, Audi's China sales rose 5.7 percent year on year to 487,265 vehicles.

Audi has been unable to capitalize on China's nationwide end-of-year buying spree, as consumers rushed to buy small cars before tax incentives expire on Dec. 31.

Now, Volkswagen's luxury brand is taking steps to jump-start sales. Currently, Audi distributes vehicles in China through Volkswagen's joint venture with China FAW Group.

According to Chinese media, Audi now is negotiating with Volkswagen's other joint venture -- a partnership with SAIC Motor Corp. -- to sell vehicles through its dealer network. (See related story in this newsletter.)

While Audi struggles, VW "value brand" Skoda received a boost from China's tax break on small-car purchases. In October, Skoda sales rose 21 percent year on year to 32,000 vehicles. Skoda did not provide sales data for the first ten months.

VW Group's other brands -- Volkswagen, Porsche and Bentley -- have not released October sales results for China.

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