BMW's surge in China sales reduces auto-market slowdown concerns
BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- BMW Group's new-car sales in China surged last month, helping to ease concerns that the world's biggest automotive market is cooling too quickly.
Deliveries jumped 59 percent to 29,631 BMW- and Mini-brand vehicles in September, adding to nine-month sales of 237,056, a rise of 34 percent from a year earlier, a spokeswoman for the company said on Friday.
"This strength has legs to it," said David Arnold, an auto-industry specialist with Credit Suisse in London. "China's still a growth market, but the market's normalizing, which is what we need."
Sales volume in China was helped by strong demand for the automaker's X1 and X3 SUVs, the spokeswoman added. Sales for the X1 rose 393 percent to 5,235, boosted by local production at BMW’s Tiexi plant, while X3 sales rose 164.4 percent to 1,499 last month.
Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which rank behind BMW in global luxury-car sales, also posted stronger demand in September in China, even as the country's economy shows signs of slowing. Audi said on Thursday that September sales advanced 20 percent to 35,512 vehicles, while deliveries at Mercedes totaled 16,806 cars and SUVs in the same period, a gain of 10 percent.
China's services industry expanded at the slowest rate in more than a year in September, and manufacturing has contracted for 11 consecutive months.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this reportContact Automotive News