Even well-sprung luxury motors have been feeling the speed bumps laid down by Beijing credit squeezers. BMW and H-share Brilliance China Automotive Holdings managed to sell only 1,907 top-end 7-series BMW sedans in the first half of the year, 12% down on the same period last year, BMW said. Volkswagen's joint venture with First Auto Works (FAW) reported a 7.2% decline in sales of its top-end A6 sedan over the same period. A6 sales dropped to 23,445. But Beijing's credit controls seemed only to invigorate DaimlerChrysler. It reported Mercedes-Benz sales of 5,500, a 70% spike over 2003's first half.
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