Saturday 20 January 2018

Audi sets target of 500,000 car sales in China

The Audi A3 sits on display during a media preview of the 2014 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on April 17, 2014 in New York City. The show opens with a sneak preview to the public April 18 and runs through April 27. Photo: Getty Images
The Audi A3 sits on display during a media preview of the 2014 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on April 17, 2014 in New York City. The show opens with a sneak preview to the public April 18 and runs through April 27. Photo: Getty Images

Volkswagen's luxury division Audi plans to sell about half a million cars this year in China, the world's biggest auto market, and raise the number of Chinese dealers to 500 by 2017.

The German automaker hopes its car sales will exceed 500,000 this year, executives told reporters yesterday before the Beijing auto show, which opens tomorrow.

Foreign automakers, such as General Motors and Toyota, and domestic players such as SAIC Motor Corp have been competing aggressively in China.

"This country has an increasing number of mega-cities," Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said, naming Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as examples. "In these three areas, there are as many people as, for example, in Germany."

In 2013, Audi sold 488,000 vehicles in China and a total of 492,000, including Hong Kong. Executives said it aimed to take advantage of the increasing popularity of SUVs and demand for compact premium cars.

China's auto market is expected to grow 8-10pc this year, easing from last year when it expanded 13.9pc to 21.98 million vehicles.

Audi is stepping up efforts to unseat German rival BMW as global luxury-car sales leader.

Recovering European demand and Chinese growth pushed its deliveries to a record in the January-March quarter.

Audi's total deliveries rose 11.7pc to 412,850 cars, with a 21pc gain in China after the carmaker started assembly of the A3 sportback model at a factory in Foshan in late 2013. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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