Audi has announced it will no longer sell Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) in one of the world’s top markets, China.
Premium German luxury brands face more competition in top markets than ever. Not only has Tesla entered all of their top markets and quickly grown its marketshare, but new brands in emerging markets are also attracting an increasing number of buyers, particularly in China. Now, to refocus, Audi has announced that it will no longer be selling PHEVs in the giant Asian market.
Audi’s announcement was first revealed by the German newspaper Handelsblatt, in which a corporate executive stated that after seeing dramatically falling sales in the segment, the premium brand would be pulling out. According to the executive, Audi’s PHEV sales have more than halved in China since 2020. In its place, Audi will now be focusing on EV sales and development.
Audi’s move is certainly not out of the blue. Besides the aforementioned sales slump, domestic brands like BYD have come to dominate the PHEV segment in China, many of whom can offer customers a premium vehicle for a lower price tag. According to Handelsblatt, 75% of the PHEV market is currently controlled by domestic brands in China.
Outside of Asia’s largest market, the outlook for PHEVs also looks grim. In Audi’s home market of Germany, PHEV sales plummeted in the first quarter of the year. Last month alone, the German vehicle registration agency saw a 39% fall in PHEV sales compared to the same time last year.
Even in the United States, which has lagged behind other Western markets in EV adoption, PHEV offerings have not grown at nearly the pace of their EV counterparts. This sales shift has been so noticeable that many top legacy manufacturers, including Ford and General Motors, have dramatically decreased or eliminated their PHEV offerings altogether.
Luckily, departing from the PHEV market may also be an excellent opportunity for Audi, especially as it looks to rapidly develop a growing number of EVs in China, Europe, and North America, all of which are regions that are steadily seeing EV sales growth month over month.
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