BMW, Audi defy January sales slump
BMW AG and Audi AG both reported strong China sales in January, while Mercedes-Benz sales declined due to shortages of some models.
All three German automakers easily outperformed China's light vehicle market, which declined 24 percent year-on-year last month.
China eclipsed the United States as BMW's largest market in January this year, BMW data show.
The automaker sold 26,505 BMWs and Minis in China last month, up nearly 31 percent from a year earlier. In the United States, BMW and Mini sales totaled 19,739 units.
The U.S., Germany and China have long been the BMW Group's top three markets.
Last year, sales of BMWs and Minis in the U.S., Germany and China totaled 305,418 units, 297,483 units and 232,586 units in China, respectively.
Meanwhile, Audi sales in China jumped nearly 23 percent year-on-year to 27,206 units. Last month, Audi sold 1,442 "stretch" versions of the redesigned A8 sedan.
The company expects to receive a sales boost in a few weeks when it introduces a redesigned version of its best-selling model, the stretched A6 sedan.
Unlike Audi and BMW, Mercedes-Benz sales suffered a downturn in January. Last month, Mercedes sales declined 7 percent to 14,463 units.
The company attributed the downturn to inventory shortages. Mercedes' joint venture, Beijing Benz Automobile Co., scheduled some production downtime to expand its assembly plant.