B MW calls itself' the world's leading premium manufacturer ', Mercedes is' at the top of the premium segment '. Both titles are above press releases that both companies publish on the same day. The content: The sales figures for 2016. BMW and Mercedes feel as winners in the battle for the largest number of cars sold. Who is right? Both a little, but we'll get to that in a moment.
Audi by far
And what about Audi, the third German premium manufacturer? The ambitious VW subsidiary reports the numbers almost at the same time as the competition from Stuttgart and Munich, but keeps its distance. While BMW and Mercedes each delivered over two million cars for the first time in 2016 and are only 80,000 apart, Audi remains third with 1.87 million.
Mercedes strengthened its sales in China, growing by 26, 6 percent to 472,844 units. This makes China the most important market for Mercedes. The former sales director Ola Källenius is leaving with an increase of eleven percent, takes over the position of the development director with a success message behind him.
Success with compacts
The compact models, i.e. A, B, CLA and GLA, contributed 636,903 units to sales. The best selling in 2016 was the C-Class , 425,000 customers ordered it. Smart , the concern's problem child for a long time, grows by 21 percent, delivers 144,479 cars. AMG is growing by 44.1 percent, primarily because of the new performance models such as the C 43, and puts 99,235 cars on the road.
BMW sold 2,003,359 cars . The brand's sales grew by 5.2 percent in 2016. The X models grew the most; compared to 2015, they increased by 22 percent. Every third BMW is meanwhile a X1 , X3 , X5 or X6.
BMW with SUV success
From the 2-series BMW sold almost 200,000 (196,183) units, an increase of 24.8 percent compared to 2015. The core brand adds up to 360,233 Mini and 4.011 Rolls-Royce. Makes a total of 2,367,603 vehicles. A figure that Daimler's auto division just misses when you add the 144,479 Smart to Mercedes-Benz sales.
Both are a little right: BMW leads as a group, Mercedes-Benz as a brand.
And Audi? Reports a new record, but remains below the sales figures of the competition. 2015 was already a record year, which was exceeded by 3.8 percent in 2016. The growth drivers were the new A4 (plus 7.6 percent) and the Q7 with an increase of 43.6 percent. Audi delivered a total of 337,550 A4s.
China with record mark
The Q7 hit the streets 102,200 times and, according to Audi, is particularly successful in the USA: 30,563 units went there , it makes up almost a third of the 100,000 Q models in the United States. In China, the brand sold 591,554 cars, a new high. For 2017, Audi is hoping for the Q2 that has just started and the model change at Q5 .
What will happen next with the head-to-head race between BMW and Mercedes and what The two brands are planning to do so in the next few years, read in the auto motor und sport 03/2017, from January 19th at the kiosk .