Chinese market very important to Audi
German premium car maker Audi AG says that the popularity of the compact vehicle is growing and that it is fast becoming the primary driver for sales in China. The Chinese market is very lucrative for all car manufacturers and the country's middle-class demographic has an eye for affordable luxury.
Audi feels that volume sales of its compacts is the way ahead, with this view shared by chief rivals Mercedes and BMW. These companies all want to boost their presence in China and the next year should prove to be very interesting.
Even though there is less growth in the Chinese economy recently, many European car manufacturers have invested in factories here. Dietmar Voggenreiter, Audi's president in China, says that there is more growth in the 'lower segments' of Chinese consumer luxury spending, indicating that future growth will shift from demand for big saloons to smaller models. Speaking at the Shanghai Motor Show recently about future Audi car sales, Mr Voggenreiter said: "That means mid-class cars - for us, that's the A4 and the Q5 - compact segment cars that will grow very fast in future. These are the fastest growing segments."
Mr Voggenreiter believes that the luxury car market in China still has a lot of room for growth and will eventually overtake the wider sector. Premium car sales currently account for around 9% of the total sales, compared to between 13% and 15% for more traditional markets.