Technology Audi chief says Chinese sales slide may have eased in August

Audi chief says Chinese sales slide may have eased in August

An Audi logo is seen on the radiator grill of an Audi vehicle at a car dealer in Eching near MunichThe fall in Audi’s sales in China may have eased in August, its chief executive said on Tuesday, but the luxury carmaker shied away from forecasting full-year deliveries in the biggest auto market, unlike German rivals BMW and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz.

Chinese sales of Volkswagen’s flagship luxury division slumped 13 percent in July, the third straight monthly drop which caused Audi to lower its global sales expectations.

“We have once again quite good showroom traffic, at least as much as August is concerned,” Chief Executive Rupert Stadler told reporters at a briefing in Hamburg late on Tuesday.

“But one swallow does not make a summer,” the CEO added, refusing to give a forecast for full-year Chinese sales.

BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which in July outsold Audi on a global scale for a second month in a row, are more optimistic on China.

Mercedes-Benz, which slipped behind Audi in the global premium sales race in 2011, aims to benefit from a series of redesigned models to boost Chinese sales significantly beyond 300,000 vehicles this year from 281,588 in 2014 while BMW is expecting an unspecified single-digit percentage gain.

“We should now stay calm and wait for the undulation in China to subside,” Stadler said. Audi will publish August sales data on Thursday.