BMW Challenges Mercedes-Benz in the Premium Segment with Record Sales

The premium segment of the auto market reached new peaks in 2018, with two of the world’s largest players, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, posting record sales figures for the period.
BMW nearly level in terms of sales with Mercedes-Benz 1 photo
Photo: BMW
On January 8, Mercedes revealed it sold a total of 2,310,185 cars, making for its eight consecutive record year of the three-pointed star brand. Three days later, BMW strikes back with equal force, and also with its eight consecutive record year.

Brand vs. brand, BMW sold a bit fewer cars than long-time rival Mercedes, namely 2,125,026 vehicles. But with the help of the other nameplates in the group - BMW, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad – the Bavarians outclassed the Daimler group, by a small margin.

“We are proud to have achieved our best-ever annual sales result, despite a number of important model-changeovers and significant, ongoing headwinds in several major markets,” said in a statement Pieter Nota, BMW’s executive in charge for sales.

"I am confident the momentum generated by these new models will continue through 2019.”

As was the case with most other car companies, the best selling models were the SUVs, which accounted for 37.3 percent of total BMW sales in 2018.

The group’s electric aspirations were met last year, with 142,617 electrified BMW and MINI vehicles being sold to customers over the past twelve months.

BMW’s M performance arm also performed well, selling 27.2 percent more cars than last year, or a total of 102,780 vehicles.

In Europe, the group’s sales dropped by 0.3 percent to 1,097,654 cars, a decrease quickly recovered by the 0.5 percent rise in U.S. sales (354,698) cars. China shot up once again, reaching the impressive figure of 639,953 new cars, or an increase of 7.7 percent.

For this year, BMW forecasts yet another rise in sales, albeit only a minor one. The Germans are betting on the positive forecasts for the premium segment, the expansion of the SUV range and increase appeal of the electric cars.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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