2012 China: German Luxury Car Sales in China

Germany luxury and premium auto brands had another bumper year in China in 2012 with strong car sales growth.

Volkswagen New Santana
China accounted for more than a third of Volkswagen’s worldwide sales in 2012.
© Volkswagen Media Services

In 2012, German car manufacturers had another good year on the Chinese new passenger vehicle market. Volkswagen sold the most cars in China of any German car brand while BMW Mini lead the premium sector comfortably ahead of Audi. China is now the single most important country market for Volkswagen, Audi, and BMW, second for Porsche and third for Mercedes-Benz.

In 2012, the Chinese car market accounted for 37% of Volkswagen sales, 27% of Audi, 22% of Porsche, 18% of BMW and 13% of Mercedes-Benz car sales worldwide.

The total Chinese passenger car market in 2012 was around 15,5 million (+7%) vehicles. German carmakers, with the exception of Mercedes, easily outperformed the general market.

Volkswagen – Record Sales Year in China in 2012

Volkswagen branded cars had a record sales year in China and the Asia Pacific region in 2012. Volkswagen sold 2,37 million cars in the Asia Pacific region – an increase of 23.2% compared to 2011.

In China, Volkswagen’s largest single country market, 2.15 million (+24.8%) new VW-branded passenger vehicles were registered in 2012.

Worldwide, Volkswagen sold 5,74 million (+12.7%) passenger vehicles in 2012, which clearly shows how important China is to the VW Brand.

Audi – Record Car Sales in China in 2012

Audi had a record year selling 405,838 (+29.6%) cars in China in 2012. It was the first time Audi exceeded the 400,000 mark in a single year.

Of these cars, only 83,138 (+36.2%) were produced outside China.

Worldwide, Audi sold 1,46 million (+11.7%) cars in 2012. Of these, 478,900 (+28.1%) were sold in in the Asia Pacific region.

Porsche – Record Car Sales in China in 2012

Porsche – part of the VW Group since August 2012 – sold 141,075 (+18.7%) cars worldwide in 2012. In the Asia-Pacific region, Porsche sold 50,376 (+23.6%) cars – the first time the region exceeded 50,000 and the first time Asia Pacific became more important to Porsche than Europe.

In China, Porsche sold 31,205 (+28.2%) cars in 2012. It was the first time Porsche sold more than 30,000 cars in a single year in China, making China the second most important single country market for Porsche (after the USA).

BMW – Record Car Sales in China in 2012

The BMW Group also had record sales worldwide and in China in 2012. BMW-Group sales worldwide totaled 1,84 million (+10.6%) including 1,540 million (+11.6%) BMW cars, 301,526 (+5.8%) Minis, and 3,575 Rolls Royce (+1%) cars.

In the Asia Pacific region, the BMW Group sold 491,512 (+31.6%) cars in 2012. BMW sales in China increased by 40.4% to 326,444 deliveries in 2012. In comparison, BMW sold only 56,607 (+18.9%) cars in Japan and 33,500 (+22.3%) in South Korea.

Mercedes-Benz – Record Car Sales in China in 2012

Mercedes-Benz also had record sales worldwide in 2012 although the gains were less spectacular than those enjoyed by its main competitors. The Mercedes-Benz group sold 1,42 million (+4.5%) cars in 2012, of which 1,32 million (+4.7%) were Mercedes-Benz branded and 104,000 (+1.7%) Smart vehicles.

In 2102, Mercedes increased car sales in China by only 1.5% to 196,211 cars making China only the third most important single country market for Mercedes-Benz after the USA and Germany.

Mercedes sold 337,102 (+5.1%) cars in the Asia Pacific region in 2012, including 40,488 (+24.9%) in Japan.

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.