July 14, 2017 4:29 am JST

Audi no longer China's top luxury brand

Sales dive on spat over new dealer partnership

YU NAKAMURA, Nikkei staff writer

A dispute over a new joint-venture caused Audi's Chinese sales to tumble.

GUANGZHOU -- Volkswagen's Audi has lost its crown as China's top-selling luxury car brand for the first time, with sales dropping to third place in the January-June period due to a dispute over dealership arrangements.

The Audi name has long been synonymous with luxury cars in China. But during the six-month period, the brand's sales plummeted 12% to around 250,000 units. Dealers linked to VW partner FAW Group launched an Audi boycott to protest a sales agreement the German automaker signed with domestic rival SAIC Motor Corp last November.

VW worked to contain the situation by shelving the deal with Shanghai-based SAIC Motor, but sales dropped nonetheless as negotiations became bogged down.

Audi left the field to Mercedes-Benz of Germany's Daimler, which claimed the top spot of China's luxury car market as its sales surged 34% to around 300,000 vehicles in the January-June period. German automaker BMW also beat Audi's sales, soaring 18% to around 290,000 units.

Asia300

SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): SHG(600104)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Motor Vehicles
Market cap(USD): 54,620.29M
Shares: 11,683.46M

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