BMW widened its lead over Audi last month, while Mercedes-Benz gained momentum

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 11, 2013

The demand for BMW’s 3-series sedan and X1 SUV in March 2013 has been so high that the brand was able to broaden its lead over Audi. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz brand was able to generate some momentum with its latest small cars. BMW’s deliveries in March increased by 4.4% to 159,195 units in March, surpassing the 3% gain that Audi recorded.

The higher increase of BMW enabled it to increase its lead in the first quarter, with its deliveries being 11,904 units higher than Audi’s. Last month, Mercedes’ deliveries rose by 6.5%. In the first quarter, sales of the new A- and B-class compacts grew by 49%. In the last three-month period, Mercedes’ sales were 56,506 units lower than BMW. Last month, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said that its plants are operating at full capacity in order to cope with demand.

Through March, X1 sales increased by 28% while 3-series deliveries increased by 20%. Most of Audi’s gains came from deliveries of the A1 subcompact and Q3 SUV. BMW sales chief Ian Robertson said that even with the turmoil going on in Europe, the BMW group was able to achieve an all-time high in sales last March as well as its best first quarter in its history.

He said that the company is seeking more growth in the global sales of BMW in 2013. The German luxury carmakers, which all expect increases in their sales this year, have done better than volume automakers in the region as growing demand in China and the U.S. has made up for the declining deliveries in Europe’s auto industry.

This region has recently recorded its sixth consecutive year of declines. Frank Biller, an analyst at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg in Stuttgart, said that despite the market in western Europe being tough, the premium manufacturers continue to post positive sales figures. He explains that we’ll have to wait and see the extent of how higher rebates affected sales.

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