(Taking from http://www.caranddriver.com/photo-gallery/2013-audi-s6-vs-2013-bmw-m5-2012-mercedes-benz-e63-amg-comparison-test)
Audi, Benz, BMW are three most popular German luxury car brands in China. These three brands occupied most of the luxury car’s market due to their high quality and excellent branding. In China they were recognized as the symbol of rich and successful. However, the percentage of market share of Audi, Benz and BMW are different, even if they are extremely similar brands.
In China, Made in German usually known as high quality. Chinese mid-class and rich people love German cars not only because they were good but also conflict with cultural recognitions. Japanese also made excellent cars like Lexus, Infiniti and Acura. But China used has a war with Japan. So, Japanese car is not first choice of Chinese buyer.
In this case, Audi, Benz and BMW have huge opportunities in China thanks to the growing economy of China. However, Audi has the biggest market share, BMW is the second, and Benz did not doing well. In contrary, Benz has the biggest market share in luxury car all over the world. And Benz is the first luxury car that come in to China in 1980s.
Why Benz cannot open the market of China? First of all, they did not meet customer’s need in China Long wheelbase cars are more popular, because people who sitting in the back of car are more comfortable. But Benz thinks long wheelbase would decrease the turning ability of the car and increase weight. Clearly, Benz wants to build the best car but ignored the customer requirement.
Secondly, BMW aim to the younger generation who was born in 1980s, most of them were the only children of family. So, their parents are welling to buy a BMW as a gift to them. BMW’s branding ideas is to be the car with most fun when you driving it.
Finally, the latest model of Benz E-class car just arrived China. Sell 6500 cars in September, while Audi A6L selling 12900 and BMW selling 8500 cars. When the E-class just arrived they begin to make 5% off the price, make the customer think the quality of car is not good. And some say the smelling of Benz is not good, so they give a air perfume as a gift when you brought a new car. However, customer believed that the smell of Benz is really bad. Why I should buy a car with a bad smell?
In a word, the market strategy of the Benz is not clear, and failed to meet the customer’s need. Furthermore, luxury car should not on sale when they just came to the market even through the selling is not good. An expensive car should be perfect, should not have any excuses.