Mercedes has continued its progress in the last few years and has claimed the tag of being the top luxury carmaker from the clutches of BMW.
The competition between BMW, Mercedes and Audi for being the worldwide leader in luxury car sales has been intense in the last five years. BMW recently celebrated their 100 years, but the company will be less than pleased to see Mercedes overtake them in the sales figures at this crucial time.
BMW gained a 6% increase in sales between January and March after shipping 478,743 cars. This was marginally lower than Mercedes, who managed 483,487 cars. The latter was able to achieve this figure, buoyed by the strong demand in China. The duo is substantially ahead of Audi, who are third with 455,750 units sales in these three months. Sales of Audi rose only 4% compared with the same time last year.
The news comes as a major disappointment to BMW, who have been top of the tree for more than a decade. The company is actively making the shift towards all-wheel drive and front wheel drive models in recent times. This is seen as a sign of increasing heat from Mercedes and Audi, who are able to price their products much more competitively due to the availability of front wheel drive models. Further, these cars also have substantially better legroom in the rear and a less pronounced hump for the third passenger at the back.
Mercedes has been extremely aggressive in their sales strategy, while they have also been launching numerous models in recent times. The nomenclature of its entire SUV line-up has changed substantially in the last 12 months. BMW are unlikely to be deeply worried by the latest developments, as the difference between the duo is marginal and it can swing in any direction, come the next quarter.
China has become the biggest battleground for luxury car makers. The incredible growth posed by the nation for the last decade is now translating into luxury car sales in recent years. Even though Mercedes entered into the Chinese market later than Audi and BMW, they have been able to post significantly better results. This may be down to the market’s interest in a new player rather than an existing player.
BMW is expected to bounce back with the company set to launch a number of new models in 2016 and 2017.