Increased appetite for German luxury forces BMW, Mercedes and Audi to cancel summer breaks

2011 BMW 5-Series

The United States and China are exhibiting massive appetites for German performance and luxury, prompting an increase in deliveries to the two markets.

“The Chinese appetite for German nameplates is absolutely bottomless,” said Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Commerzbank AG. “There are more than 900,000 millionaires in China and many of them are bursting to show off their wealth.”

BMW is apparently fresh-out of inventory of the all-new 5-series , and Audi is seeing a warm reception of its new A8 Sedan. Mercedes plans to grab a share of the market with an extended E-class sedan; its first design for Chinese markets. All three companies are doing away with summer breaks in production in order to accommodate the boost in demand, and have even increased the workforce. Daimler has introduced Saturday shifts at its German plants and added 1,800 temporary workers. BMW added 5,000 temporary workers.

BMW and Daimler had both raised annual sales forecasts recently, and Audi did so earlier in the year. With BMW being out of the 5-series, their performance anticipation is high. Any customers waiting for their new 5-series are in for a wait; BMW says that it will be a good three to four months before they are available.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)