Sales of luxury cars in China are robust. BMW recently announced strong third quarter profits, up 11-fold, as a result of big increases in China, which doubled compared with a year ago.
In the first 10 months of this year, Mercedes-Benz sold 90,306 cars, BMW sold 102,916 cars, and Audi sold 172,180 cars in China, according to market research firm J.D. Power & Associates.
Banking firm J.P. Morgan and J.D. Power both expect China’s luxury car sales to reach 530,000 units this year and to more than double to 1.1 million units by 2015.
Who’s buying these luxury cars in China?
While the three top luxury car brands in China — all German – are extremely popular with wealthy Chinese, each brand’s demographic varies.
BMW buyers are “typically young business people — entrepreneurs who have made a lot of money,” according to Yang Jian, managing editor of Automotive News China. The BMW 5-series is the most popular model in China, according to Mr. Yang.
Mercedes-Benz buyers are generally older businessmen and government officials in higher positions.
Audi buyers are often government officials who are the leading consumers of luxury cars in China. This explains why Audi is China’s top brand.
The owners of Mercedes and Audi typically have chauffeurs. In China, it’s common to see the rich, particularly business and government officials, being chauffeured.
Regardless of having a chauffeur or not, the Chinese generally prefer bigger cars and these luxury car makers have accommodated with models that have extended wheelbases (longer and roomier).
image credit: bmw china