BMW Still Leads Audi and Mercedes, though German Rivals Now Closing In

SHAFAQNA –  BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, in that order, have been, in that order, the top three luxury car manufacturers in Germany for quite some time, but it now seems that BMW’s position at the top spot is getting a bit more tenuous. Sales figures released yesterday show that BMW sold a total of 167,854 vehicles last month, good for an increase of 6.1 percent.  With its Mini brand included, BMW’s September 2014 sales were an all-time record in Europe alone, and at first glance, one would think that Audi’s 1.6 percent decline in European sales would mean a larger lead for BMW.  But when worldwide sales are taken into account, BMW’s lead over Audi decreased to 20,842 year-to-date, close to 30 percent less than September 2013’s YTD lead of 28,836 units.

Additionally, Mercedes closed the gap on BMW, with a year-to-date difference of 124,336 units as of September 2014.  That’s over 22,000 less cars than the 146,946 units that separated Mercedes from BMW year-to-date in September 2013.

Audi has been on a roll as of late, despite the recent announcement of a massive $2.5 billion budget cut – this was done as the automaker prepares to release several new models with refreshed design aesthetic and improved fuel economy.  Mercedes has also gone great guns in 2014, releasing a new C-Class sedan in March and redesigned versions of the E-Class and the premium S-Class.

As for BMW, market analysts suggest that despite Audi and Mercedes’ best efforts, the company may remain on top of the luxury sales space for the immediate foreseeable future.  According to data from IHS Automotive, BMW is expected to enjoy a 23 percent sales jump to 2.04 million units in 2019, a bigger increase than that of Audi (16 percent to 1.91 million) and Mercedes (12 percent to 1.67 million).




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