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An Audi commercial that aired in movie halls and online in China is drawing ire for comparing women to used cars - another bump in the road for the German automaker, which once enjoyed almost limitless growth in the country.

It shows a couple at the altar seemingly about to tie the knot before an apparently concerned future mother-in-law interrupts proceedings to inspect the bride's body.

The ad ends with an Audi running on streets and a voice-over, which says "An important decision must be made carefully".

In addition to demands for the ad to be taken down, there have been some calls to boycott Audi cars.

Ogilvy and BBH China had been handling creative duties for FAW Audi, the German brand's joint venture in China, but the account recently moved to Leo Burnett Beijing, with another shop expected to join it.

The woman proceeds to pinch the bride's nose, pull back the bride's ear, examine the inside of her mouth, and stare furiously at the bride's breasts.

Audi is considered one of the most reputed vehicle brands in China, along with BMW and Mercedes.

"If this ad compared a guy to a second hand auto, people would undoubtedly say its amusing and creative", she added.

I suspect that one or two people at Audi China and its ad agency will soon be undergoing a rigorous inspection themselves.

Audi has been struggling in China of late, with BMW and Mercedes beginning to overpower it.

FAW-Volkswagen Automotive sold 253,635 Audi cars in the first half of 2017, down 12.2 percent from past year.

Last year, a Chinese firm apologised for a racist laundry detergent ad, in which a Chinese woman throws a black man covered in paint into a washing machine.