Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) luxury division Audi is planning to sell about half a million cars in China this year. It also has plans to increase the number of its Chinese dealers to 500 by 2017.
Executives told reporters before the Beijing auto show that Audi hopes its car sales will exceed 500,000 this year. The company is making efforts for unseating German rival BMW (BMWG.DE) as global luxury-car sales leader. The total deliveries of Audi rose 11.7 percent to 412,850 cars, with a 21 percent gain in China after the carmaker started assembly of the A3 sportback model at a factory in Foshan in late 2013. Audi sold 488,000 vehicles in China and a total of 492,000 including Hong Kong in 2013.
In recent times, foreign auto makers, such as General Motors Co (GM.N) and Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), and domestic players such as SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS) have been competing aggressively in the world’s biggest auto market, China, where rising affluence is boosting car ownership.
“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.”
The auto market of China is expected to grow 8-10 percent this year, easing from last year when it expanded 13.9 percent to 21.98 million vehicles.
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