BMW Group managed to defend its crown as the largest luxury carmaker in the world in 2013, edging Audi and Mercedes-Benz for the ninth straight year. Its namesake BMW brand posted an 8-percent jump in sales to a record 1.66 million cars in 2013, boosted by demand for the 3-series sedan and X1 compact SUV,
BMW said in a statement. BMW logged a 2-percent surge in deliveries in December 2013 to 155,835. "The BMW Group posted record sales once again in 2013 and is clearly the number one in the premium segment," BMW sales boss Ian Robertson said in the statement. He remarked that the carmaker is aiming to increase sales and make 2014 another record year. BMW is boosting its spending on new models to repulse Mercedes and Audi, which have been making their own moves to capture the crown from BMW.
To fend them off, BMW is planning this year to introduce the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and unveil the new 2-series compact coupe at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. BMW hopes the new 2-series compact coupe will help it regain its crown as the best-selling luxury carmaker in the United States that it lost to Mercedes in 2013.
The 2 series will replace the 1 series in the US in the first quarter. "BMW still has quite a large edge over the competition," Frank Schwope, an analyst with Nord LB told Bloomberg, adding that "Mercedes and Audi “won't able to catch up so quickly, as BMW can keep pace with new models." Sales at the group's Mini brand jumped 1 percent in 2013 to 305,030, helped by a 6-percent jump in December 2013 to 30,455. Deliveries of Rolls-Royce vehicles surged 2 percent in 2013 to 3,630 units.
Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing BMW: “The BMW Group posted record sales once again in 2013 and is clearly the number one in the premium segment. Our success can be attributed to our attractive and innovative models, the strength of our premium brands and our strategy of balanced sales across all continents. Despite the prevailing headwinds in many markets, we aim to increase sales and make 2014 another record year.” [source: BMW]