A rare price stampede is taking place in the Chinese auto market.
(Image from BMW China Weibo)
As a large number of car companies in China are offering huge subsidies or price cuts, BMW is offering more than 100,000 yuan ($14,360) off its all-electric model, the i3, according to local media.
In the past two days, rumors have surfaced that BMW dealers are offering massive subsidies for the i3 in China, and that consumers who pay full cash for the car can even get the model for RMB 120,000 to 180,000, less than half the retail price.
BMW insiders deny this, local media Cailian reported today. However, salespeople at BMW dealers say they are indeed offering discounts, and that these measures were introduced only this month, according to the report.
For the BMW i3 eDrive35 L, which currently has a guide price of RMB 353,900, the cost after discounts is RMB 248,000, the report said, citing BMW dealership sources.
Consumers will also receive an additional RMB 6,000 subsidy if they trade in their vehicles, the sources said.
BMW officially made the BMW i3 available in China on March 31, 2022, when only one version, the BMW i3 eDrive35L, was offered, and only for the Chinese market.
BMW's suggested retail price for the BMW i3 eDrive35L at the time was RMB 349,900, and its website currently displays a suggested retail price of RMB 353,900.
On February 20, BMW announced the launch of the BMW i3 eDrive40L in China, offering two versions with starting prices of RMB 383,900 and RMB 413,900 respectively.
The BMW i3 eDrive40L is the premium model of the BMW i3 with better performance and a longer range, the company said in a press release.
Notably, in late November last year, a media report said that Chinese consumers were offered discounts of RMB 80,000-100,000 by dealers when purchasing the BMW i3.
There were even dealers offering discounts of RMB 105,000, equivalent to a 30 percent discount, bringing the vehicle's selling price down to around RMB 245,000, Cheshi reported at the time.
These deals seem to have worked to boost sales in the past few months, as the BMW 3 Series BEV, or BMW i3, sold 2,976 units at retail in China in February, placing it as No. 8 on the list of high-end sedans with a starting price above RMB 300,000 in China, according to a list released earlier today by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). A list.
In addition to BMW, Mercedes-Benz dealers are also rumored to be offering huge discounts, including up to RMB 110,000 for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Cailian today quoted a Mercedes insider as saying there is no such thing. A salesperson at a Mercedes-Benz dealership store in Beijing said that the information circulating on the Internet was untrue and that consumers could only get discounts on their purchases if they registered their vehicles in Beijing.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is currently discounted by RMB 60,000 and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class by RMB 50,000, the salesperson said.
The rumors and the dealers' moves come as the Chinese auto industry is staging a rare price war.
Earlier this month, authorities in central China's Hubei province joined forces with a number of local car companies to offer subsidies to consumers for car purchases of up to RMB 90,000 for some models, marking the open entry of fuel models into the price war.
As things stand, car companies are already stampeding each other, Cailian quoted auto industry analyst Zhu Yulong as saying.
The previous price cuts by Tesla had a big impact on the car market, and whoever acts first now will have a head start, Zhu said.
For the internal combustion engine vehicle market, new emission standards that will come into effect on July 1 are one of the major factors that will cause them to cut prices.
China will start enforcing national standard 6b in the second half of the year, which is described as the world's most stringent emissions standard and will force car companies to try to clear their inventories by July, Cailian said, citing a source from consulting firm Ways.
It is worth noting that the sharp price cuts by ICE car companies, which appeared in the process of reducing prices or offering discounts by electric vehicle companies, also brought an impact to the NEV industry.
(1 $= RMB 6.9643)