BMW noted that ever since it began driving courses in 2006, it has reduced its market-share gap with Audi in China. BMW started the driving courses in order to boost its brand appeal and to draw in new buyers. As the number of rich Chinese increase, sales are rising even if overall vehicle deliveries slow down this year as the government has restricted purchases in order to reduce congestion.
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants said that BMW's share of the high-end sedan segment in China has gone up by 24% this year from 21% in 2006.
Meanwhile, Audi's share has dropped from 50% to 28%. Lu Yi, head of sales and marketing at BMW's China import unit, said that test drives and cross-country expeditions will show off new technology and will serve to expand customer interest.
In a survey last year conducted by International Business Machines Corp., Beijing tied with Mexico City for having the worst commute in the world.
With these programs, motorists are able to drive the vehicle outside the urban setting. For instance, Tom Liang ( a Beijing resident) took a BMW X5 SUV for a two-day drive in Inner Mongolia, driving up 100-meter sand dunes and across rocky river beds.
Liang, who went to BMW's first off-road terrain course this month in Ordos, northern China, said that the car’s best functions are brought out when driving in the desert. He stated that the training made him realize just what his X5 is capable of.