BMW saw its global sales lead chipped away by Mercedes-Benz and Audi in the first seven months of 2014 even after posting a strong performance in July. BMW sales jumped 10 percent in the first seven months of 2014 to 1.03 million units, marking the first time the brand has passed the million mark this early in the year.
Audi, meanwhile, sold 1.01 million vehicles in the period for an 11-percent gain, thanks to strong demand for its A6 and a 52-percent sales surge for the A3 in July to 22,450 units. Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, grew 13 percent in the first seven months of 2014 to 920,000 units.
Mercedes-Benz sales boss Ola Kaellenius credited the gain to new compact cars and SUVs. BMW is currently dominating sales in the US while Audi is leading the luxury vehicle market in both Europe and China.
In Europe, Audi grew 7 percent to 474,000 units in the first seven months of 2014 while Mercedes jumped 8 percent to 411,178 units. BMW, however, gained just 6 percent to 396,066 units in Europe.
The United States is again led by BMW, which surged 12 percent to 183,791 vehicles in the first seven months of 2014, according to data from the Automotive News Data Center. At close second is Mercedes, which grew 8 percent in the period to 178,816 vehicles.
Audi grew faster (13 percent) than BMW and Mercedes in the US, is still far behind its rivals at sales of 98,965 units. It is even behind Lexus in terms of luxury car sales in the US. The German luxury carmakers all performed well in China, with Audi at the helm in the first seven months of 2014.
Audi grew 17 percent in the period to 316,945 units, while BMW gained 22 percent in the first seven months to 245,558. Logging the largest sales growth in the seven-month period was Mercedes, gaining 34 percent to 156,843 units.
In 2013, the global luxury car market was dominated by German premium carmakers. BMW was at the top, followed by Audi and Mercedes. BMW sold 7.5 percent more cars in 2013 to 1,655,138 units globally. This was made possible by strong growth in China (+19.7 percent to 390,713 deliveries) and the US (+8.1 percent to 375,782 units).
Audi posted a record year in 2013, seeing its global sales jump 8.3 percent to 1,575,500 luxury vehicles. It grew 21.2 percent in China to 491,989 units, and 13.5 percent in the US to 158,061 cars. Mercedes posted its best year in 2013 with global deliveries of 1,461,680 units (+10.7 percent). It grew 11 percent in China (218,045 units) and 14 percent in the US (312,534 deliveries).