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German car makers are getting beat up in China

Man cleans BMW logo before news conference of German premium automaker BMW in MunichMan cleans BMW logo before news conference of German premium automaker BMW in Munich

German luxury cars are having a bad month in China, as a market crash and a tough economy are causing Chinese drivers to shy away from big ticket auto purchases.

Company-run BMW dealerships throughout China are offer very steep discounts in an attempt to get product moving again, reports Reuters. Mercedes-Benz dealerships have also seen a big drop in customer traffic, and even stores who saw sales growth only did so through big discounts.

In China, unlike in the US, dealerships can be owned and operated by the auto companies themselves, meaning there is no middleman to deal with slowing demand. China is generally seen as a growing market for automakers, and luxury cars especially are thought to be a segment where big sales gains can be made.

Reuters notes that prices for cars have fallen in China since around 2012.