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Limo sales in China grow in September

China's PV sales declined 12.04% year on year (YoY) in the so-called “golden September”, a month which is traditionally regarded as the peak season for car sale. However, the sales data announced by corresponding premium automakers do not present a prevalent descending tendency. From the table made by Gasgoo, it could be learnt that most luxury car makers attained positive YoY growth in both September sales and year-to-date (YTD) sales.

A fierce competition still exists among the three German luxury brands. Audi is the only one that delivered over 60,000 vehicles last month. Speaking of cumulative sales, Mercedes-Benz is the current champion who first achieved a sales volume exceeding 500,000 units.


Mercedes-Benz saw its sales rose 6.9% year on year to 54,632 units in China last month. Meanwhile, its cumulative sales for the first three quarters also hit a new high in the world largest auto market.

There are two key models—the Mercedes-Benz A-Class upgrade version and the C-Class facelift—to be launched into China's market in the fourth quarter. Especially, the latter will use 48V hybrid system for the first time and boasts upgrades in headlights and on-board infotainment system. Both new models are expected to help the automaker take the sales crown of the year.


Audi's sales in China (including Hong Kong) reached a new high of 65,767 units in September, accounting for 43.7% of its global sales. This is also the third month in a row that Audi outperformed the other two German premium car brands in monthly sales.

Last month, the Audi A4L was the best seller whose sales in China surged 41.7% from a year ago to 17,199 units. The SUV sales took up nearly one third of total Audi's sales in China. At the end of September, the Audi Q2L, the long-wheelbase variant of the Audi Q2 SUV, hit the market, targeting those younger consumers who value cost performance and utility. It may become a growth point for Audi China sales in the fourth quarter.


Following Mercedes-Benz and Audi, BMW delivered a total of 459,629 vehicles in China for the first nine months. However, its monthly sales outnumbered Mercedes-Benz in September.

The automaker said the Sino-U.S. trade tension and the resultant tariff changes augment the uncertainty for consumers to buy cars. As to performances of each model, the locally-produced BMW X3 did not gain the formerly-expected good sales performance. The BMW X2 and the X4 made limited contribution for overall sales by reason of their imported model identity. BMW is facing the shortage of new model stimulus in the short run before the BMW 3 Series upgraded version hits the market in the second half of 2019.

Apart from the three German giants, apparent gaps in YTD sales lie among the other premium car brands hereby tabulated. Cadillac regained the champion of the so-called second-tier premium model after being outperformed by Lexus in July and August. Lexus acquired YoY growth of over 30% for 3 consecutive months. Jaguar Land Rover faced an obvious YoY drop in China, resulting from such factors as Sino-U.S. trade tension, tariff changes and fierce price competition, the automaker said.


Cadillac created a new record in terms of its Jan-to-September sales in China, delivering 46,020 vehicles in total. According to the sales data released by General Motors, Cadillac's deliveries in China for the first three quarters aggregated 149,811 units, sustaining the leadership among the second-tier premium models in sales.

Thanks to the larger proportion of China-made vehicles, Cadillac was scarcely threatened by the Sino-U.S. trade dispute. The Cadillac XT4, with 23,13 units sold in September after it went on sale at the end of August, will see a sales climb in the rest time of the year.


Lexus should be the biggest beneficiary from China's tariff cut policy. It boasted a YoY jump of 36% with 16,101 vehicles delivered last month. By the end of September, Lexus has sold 117,703 vehicles in China so far this year, completing 73.5% of the 160,000-unit annual sales target.

The Lexus ES, one of the sales drivers, is favored by Chinese consumers with a lower price compared with other rivals at the same level. In addition, all of Lexus' vehicles currently sold in China are imported vehicles which reassure consumers over the issue of quality. It is widely rumored recently that Lexus plans to locally produce cars in China in order to narrow the gap with German premium car brands in sales. Gasgoo contacted an insider from Lexus and got a reply that the vehicle production localization plan is being under research and discussion, while the detail scheme has not come out yet.


Volvo delivered nearly 100,000 vehicles in China from January to September. Last month, its sales in this country evidently grew 14.4% from a year ago to 13,205 units thanks to the popularity of the Volvo XC60 and the S90.

The Volvo XC40 compact SUV was brought in China as an imported model in August and will be domestically produced there next year. In September, Volvo asked the U.S. government for an exemption from steep tariffs on its China-made XC 60 SUVs.

Jaguar Land Rover

In September, Jaguar Land Rover's sales in China were almost halved over the previous year. For the first nine months, its cumulative sales presented a YoY decline of 11.4%.

The automaker explained that its sales performance was impacted by the changeable import tariff policy and escalating trade tension that led to an uncertain market climate, thus consumers' desire to purchase cars was also curbed.


Lincoln sold 5,476 vehicles in China last month, basically the same as that of a year ago. Besides, the automaker obtained a YoY increase of 4% with 39,617 vehicles delivered in China after three quarters passed.

Among the 5 existing models sold in China, the Lincoln MKC was still the hottest-selling model with its sale totaling 12,169 units during the past nine months. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Navigator had a remarkable YoY surge of 72% in terms of YTD sales. It seems that the trade issue has evoked a bigger effect on Lincoln over its U.S. brother Cadillac. The automaker will start locally producing vehicles in China next year to stabilize its sales performance there.


Acura kept its depressed presence in China with the sales in September plunging 52.3% over the year-ago period to 758 units. To be specific, the sales of CDX slumped to 509 units in September from the 1,532 units a year ago. The sales of the TLX-L reached only 180 units last month and totaled around 1,100 units since it went on sale.

To enrich its product lineup in China with a more reasonable price, the automaker will launch the China-made all-new Acura RDX into the market on November 6.