With recent news from the Chinese edition of the popular German car magazine “Auto and Motorsport” that ranked Audi the number 1 automaker for its country, questions come to mind why other luxury brands such as Mercedes and BMW aren’t as popular. It’s quite simple. Audi has been there the longest and as such, it has been socially acceptable to own and drive an Audi.
Audi was the absolute first car company to enter the Chinese market in 1988 when its parent company VW partnered with Yiqi, a Chinese carmaker. By comparison, BMW didn't come into the Chinese Market until 2003, giving Audi a 15 year headstart. Ever since then, Audi’s (specifically Audi A6’s) have been the defacto car for government officials and young successful entrepreneurs.
Chinese culture and current economic climate rewards prosperous and industrious individuals, but the car of choice that flaunts their wealth has to be both discrete and socially acceptable. Thus the Audi A6, particularly in black and already used by respected government officials became the official go to car for the burgeoning Chinese Elite. Recent figures have pegged that the number of millionaires in China has surpassed one million.
Just in 2012, Audi increased sales from its previous year by 40% and sold close to 100,000 new Audi’s in the first quarter of 2012 alone.
With China’s booming economy, this trend will most likely continue. And with Audi already established as king of the country, there special relationship will bring strong sales for years to come.
Source: NY Times.