China’s luxury car market surged 27% in June, accounting for a record 14.8% of all passenger car sales for the month, the China Passenger Car Association said, as manufacturers rolled out more lower-priced entry-level models in a bid to expand their customer base, reported Caixin.
Mercedes-Benz was representative of the trend, announcing three new models for the China market selling in the RMB 300,000 to RMB 380,000 ($42,800 to $54,200) range at a regional car show in the interior city of Chengdu. The company’s parent Daimler AG previously announced that China was its only major global market to grow in the first half of this year, mainly propelled by the company’s 21.6% sales surge in China during the second quarter.
China’s overall motor vehicle market started showing signs of recovery in April, ending more than a year of contraction, which was made worse by the peaking of the nation’s coronavirus epidemic in the first three months of the year. Sales turned positive with a 4.4% gain in April, followed by 14.5% and 11.6% growth in May and June, respectively.
But the comeback has been unevenly spread across the market’s various segments, with luxury brands driving much of the return to growth. Luxury car sales rose 28% in the month of May, according to the Passenger Car Association, even as the segment for the cheapest cars priced at RMB 80,000 or less has continued to sag.