Mercedes-Benz brand managed to shorten the sales gap between it and the world’s second-largest luxury carmaker, Audi, in 2013. Mercedes logged an 11-percent rise in deliveries in 2013 to 1.46 million cars and SUVs. Meanwhile, Audi posted an 8-percent increase in deliveries to 1.58 million units.
BMW Group, however, has yet to release 2013 figures for its BMW brand, which is expected to remain as the best-selling premium marque. In 2012, Audi’s lead over Mercedes was 135,026 units, but it shrank in 2013 to 113,820 vehicles – thanks to a 64-percent surge in demand for the Mercedes-Benz A-class hatchback, B-class and CLA coupe compacts. Mercedes also outpaced Audi in terms of sales in Europe and the United States.
"We look back on the best year of the Mercedes-Benz brand," Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Daimler, said in a statement, adding that their growth strategy is working. Zetsche has vowed to capture the crown as the best-selling luxury brand in the world by 2020, a throne it lost to BMW in 2005. Zetsche is launching 13 Mercedes new models with no predecessor through the end of the decade, including the new CLA coupe that was introduced in 2013 and the small GLA SUV that will be available this March.
Mercedes is also renewing its best-selling C-class line, and showcased the sedan version at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show this week. The Mercedes brand surged 11 percent in December 2013 to 138,180 vehicles while the Smart brand dropped 3 percent in 2013 to 100,792 vehicles. Audi, meanwhile, grew 18-percent to 130,700 vehicles.