Despite the size and importance of the Chinese market to foreign luxury manufacturers, no market is ever spared from the ebb and flow conjured up by real world economic factors. Consequently, Audi AG is the latest among several luxury carmakers to backtrack on their anticipated sales targets, despite remaining China’s best-selling luxury brand.
In fact, Bloomberg reports that Audi AG is offering 1 billion yuan (about $193 million) in financial aid to its Chinese dealer network in order to help compensate for lukewarm sales projections.
Audi AG would not confirm the news, but responded to Bloomberg by email simply stating that “in an increasingly competitive market environment, Audi puts a strong focus on a financially healthy dealer network, guaranteed service quality and stable prices,” and that “we steer the market in close alignment with our dealers.”
Audi AG would not be alone in offering financial aid to its dealers; Bloomberg reports that parent Volkswagen AG, along with BMW AG and Toyota Motor Corp., have all agreed to pay financial aid to their respective dealership networks.
Audi AG had forecast 600,000 unit sales in China this year, but with the downturn of the market, the automaker now anticipates somewhere closer to last year’s numbers: about 580,000 units.