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Mercedes, BMW neck and neck in March
Automotive News China | 2017/4/14

Mercedes-Benz's China sales in March jumped 32 percent year on year to 49,871 vehicles as it enjoyed strong demand for its long-wheelbase E-class sedan.

The automaker ran virtually even with rival BMW AG, whose China sales for the period rose 8.3 percent to 50,783 vehicles.

For the first three months, Mercedes sales were up 37 percent to 144,947 vehicles, while BMW deliveries increased 12 percent to 142,828.

In China, Mercedes had been the perennial No. 3 luxury brand, trailing BMW and Audi. But in January and February, Mercedes finally overtook its rivals.

Audi has not yet announced its March China sales.

Audi has been hobbled by a dispute with its dealers over the automaker's desire to launch a second sales channel in China. After the dealers refused to order cars in January, Audi agreed to postpone its expansion plan.

The tight sales race will be highlighted at the upcoming Shanghai auto show -- an event the German automakers often have used for worldwide model introductions.

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