The sales environment for German luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz has become “a bit more challenging” in China, as sales growth slowed over the summer, a senior company executive for the luxury auto brand said.
Luxury car sales have defied a marked slowdown in the growth rate of China’s overall auto market this year and have been soaring. Sales by Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unit grew nearly 60% during the first half of this year. But sales growth slowed in July and August, said Klaus Maier, head of Mercedes-Benz in China, in an interview Friday. For the first eight months of the year, Mercedes-Benz sales in China totaled 123,590, up 41% from a year earlier, he said. The company didn’t release specific Mercedes-Benz sales-growth figures in China for July or August.
Mercedes-Benz’s sales figures for China don’t include cars sold in Hong Kong but do reflect sales of small cars from Smart, another Daimler car brand.
Mr. Maier said that, despite the easing growth rate, it was still difficult to determine whether China’s luxury car market is shifting into lower gear.
July and August are “always slow sales months in China,” and the company needs to see what happens to its China sales in September before it could effectively figure out “where the market is going for the rest of the year,” he said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal