Audi and Mercedes managed a coup for the first month of 2015, both overtaking BMW, the traditional luxury sales leader, worldwide. Thanks to sales up 10% year-on-year, Audi takes the lead of luxury brands with 137,700 sales worldwide, followed by the Mercedes brand at 125,865 deliveries (up 14%) and BMW at 124,561 units (+6%).
Toyota keeps worldwide crown
Toyota Motor Corp. remained the the world’s biggest automaker in 2014 with sales up 3% to break the 10 million vehicles mark for the first time in the carmaker’s history at 10.23 million units, including its Daihatsu minicar subsidiary and Hino truckmaking affiliate. This was just enough to keep the worldwide pole position ahead of German rival Volkswagen Group, up 3% to 10.15 million sales and also above 10 million annual vehicles for the first time in its history. This is also the first time any carmaker sells more than 10 million vehicles in a single year, and a third automaker nearly crossed that symbolic barrier this year: in third position like in 2013, General Motors Co. saw its volume rise 2% to 9.92 million vehicles.
Toyota Motor Corp. thus keeps the lead for the third consecutive year after losing its crown in 2011 due to production constraints linked with the Asian natural disasters that year. General Motors previously held the worldwide pole position from 1931 to 2007, with Toyota taking over from 2008-2010. But Toyota’s lead may be at an end in 2015, with the Japanese giant forecasting sales to drop 1% to 10.15 million on the back of slowing demand in Japan and emerging markets. This should be sufficient for Volkswagen Group become the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer by the time 2015 comes to an end.
The Volkswagen Group performance is all the more impressive when considering CEO Martin Winterkorn had been pursuing growth as part of a plan for the German automaker to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018, aiming at worldwide sales of 10 million units by then. VW is 4 full years ahead of schedule, such a rare performance in the chest-beating world of automobile.
World Full Year 2014 – manufacturers:
BMW still luxury leader in record year
In the luxury sales race, BMW outsold both Audi and Mercedes-Benz in December to round off a 10th year as global luxury car-sales champion but its two German rivals have reduced its advantage. Deliveries by BMW’s core brand jumped 10% on 2013 to a record 1.81 million units, helped by strong demand in China and the United States. BMW group sales including BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini vehicles rose 8% to 2.11 million vehicles. Audi improved even faster with worldwide sales up 11% to 1.74 million cars, while Mercedes brand sales increased by yet another more dynamic 13% to 1.65 million units, with Daimler sales (including Smart) up 11% to 1.74 million cars.
Some analysts said Analysts said BMW, Audi and Mercedes may keep growing sales further this year but pointed to signs of slowing momentum in North America and China. I disagree. These 3 carmakers are among the most prolific in terms of new product launches and some new or redesigned high sellers will keep the momentum going for all of them: the C-Class will reach cruise level, the A4 will be renewed and the 2 Series Active Tourer will be a hit in Europe.
This article is the portal to all Full Year 2014 Reports, you can find below all updates already live. This list will be updated as new Reports get published.
Big 3 world markets:
All other markets available in alphabetical order:
Bloomberg News announced today that the Volkswagen Group, boosted by strong sales in China and despite a marked slowdown in the US, is catching up with market Toyota Motor Corp. for the much coveted annual global crown. Relating Bloomberg’s calculations, Automotive News said VW Group’s deliveries through September, including the Porsche and Audi luxury divisions and MAN and Scania heavy-truck units, trailed Toyota’s by 72,000 vehicles compared with 227,000 a year earlier. Both Toyota and VW plan in excess of 10 million deliveries in 2014, and for now VW is up 5% year-on-year over the first 9 months of 2014 to 7.54 million cars and trucks vs. 7.62 million vehicles (+2.8%) for Toyota, including the Daihatsu minicar and Hino truck brands. The difference is roughly equivalent to the 72,499 light trucks that Toyota sold in the U.S. last month. VW doesn’t sell trucks there. In third place, General Motors gets distanced with a 2% increase to 7.37 million vehicles.
Toyota confirmed it sold its 7 millionth hybrid vehicle worldwide in September, 17 years after first launching the Prius in Japan in 1997. The total includes 3.3 million sold in Japan, 2.5 million in the United States, 770,000 in Europe and more than 67,000 in Australia. The latest one-million sales were achieved in record time – just nine months after Toyota (including Lexus) reached the six-million hybrid threshold in December last year, which doubled the three million total passed in February 2011.
Globally, Prius accounts for almost half the overall total with 3.36 million sales – making it the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle. TMC estimates its hybrid vehicles have cut carbon-dioxide emissions by approximately 49 million tonnes and saved approximately 18 million kilo-litres of fuel compared with vehicles of similar size and driving performance using petrol-only engines. (Number of registered vehicles × distance travelled × fuel efficiency (actual fuel efficiency in each country) × CO2 conversion factor. Fuel consumption varies depending on driving conditions / style, vehicle conditions and options/accessories.) Next year, Toyota will start selling its first mass-produced hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid vehicle in Japan, Europe and the United States.
See Toyota’s hybrid vehicle chronology below.
The Mercedes brand sold 162,746 vehicles worldwide in September, the best-ever month in its 88-year history and a 14 percent year-on-year increase. This enables Mercedes to pass Audi and rank #2 premium brand in the world below BMW for the month of September. Even though Audi sales are up 6% to 159,950 units, it wasn’t enough to resist Mercedes’ progression. Whereas Mercedes is benefitting from strong sales of its redesigned A, C, E and S Class as well as a great start for the GLA and CLA models, Audi has pushed its planned overhauls of the A4 and Q7 into 2015.
Audi has been the world’s No.2 premium automaker since 2011 when it overtook Mercedes, however its lead over the the Daimler division has thawed from 118,110 units a year ago to 103,494 in 2014. Automotive News Europe quoted Frankfurt-based Commerzbank analyst Sascha Gommel as saying “Mercedes will catch up further with BMW and Audi in coming months, they simply got the freshest product lineup.” Audi has a goal of boosting full-year sales to above 1.7 million vehicles from last year’s record 1.58 million, relying on momentum in China and Europe where it leads the premium segment, while Mercedes is simply targeting brand deliveries above last year’s record 1.46 million cars. Both brands are vying to snatch the global luxury-sales crown from BMW by the end of the decade.
September saw worldwide sales of BMW branded vehicles grow by 6.1% to a total of 167,584 vehicles, lifting the year-to-date total to 1.319.492 sales, up an excellent 9.1% on the same period last year. Good news: BMW graciously made available global sales by model for the first 9 months of 2014. The BMW 2 Series Convertible & Coupé total 19,941 sales, the BMW 3 Series is up 3.7% to 349,930 units, an incredible result given the arrival of the 4 Series at 81,876 sales. The 5 Series is up 2.8% to 278,479 sales and the X5 is up 34.2% to 104,997 units thanks to the new generation. Finally, a significant milestone: BMW i range sales now total 10,540 for the year to date with 10,199 BMW i3s and 341 BMW i8s sold. Note the i8 is sold out through the end of 2014 in the USA. Source: Manufacturers, Automotive News
Based on data published by POLK, global passenger car sales are up 4.7% year-on-year in September to 6.927.151 registrations. This brings the year-to-date total to a record 59.242.409 units, up 4.6% on 2014. Asia, Northern American and Western Europe more than made up for sharp losses in Eastern Europe and Latin America: sales in the Asia/Pacific region are up 6.3%, with China (albeit at a slower growth rate) compensating for a decrease in Japan, while sales in the NAFTA region are up 5%. In Latin America, the new car market is down 6.5% in September and 8.7% YTD, with Argentina and Brazil down sharply. Western Europe is up 6.4% in September and 5.2% YTD, whereas Eastern Europe posted a 8.6% decline due to the civil war in Ukraine and anctions imposed on Russia, bringing the year-to-date total down 9.4%.
Projections for the Full Year 2014 at Polk stand at a record 78.3 million units, which would be a 3.8% improvement over 2013. New registrations in the Asia/Pacific region are expected to increase by 6.9% in 2014. In China alone, sales in the current year will be up around 1.8 million units from the year before. New registrations in the NAFTA region are expected to continue to climb to about 19.2 million units (up 5.4%). Sales in the Latin American markets, on the other hand, will fall to about 5.4 million units (-9.2%) and will be down in Eastern Europe as well (-9.6%). Passenger vehicle demand in Western Europe, on the other hand, will be up once again in 2014 (up 4.6%).
All-in-all, continued growth in Asia and the NAFTA region, as well as the progressing recovery in Western Europe, will push global passenger vehicle sales over the 80 million-unit mark for the first time in 2015. Note this is passenger cars only, and this data does not include sales of commercial vehicles, light medium or heavy. Source: POLK via SMMT
Think you are looking at one of those vehicles used by the South African police or in Northern Ireland a few years ago, or even an anti-terrorist weapon used on some delicate regions in the world? Not so. This is one of the most exclusive private vehicles on sale at the moment, and as I am conscious of mainly focusing on the highest selling nameplates around the globe here at BSCB, I have prepared this little interlude in the world of super-exclusive tanks of wheels. Introducing the Dartz Prombron Black Shark.
Dartz Introduction featuting founder Leonard Yakelowich
Dartz Motorz Company, a Latvian car manufacturer founded by crazy man Leonard Yankelowich that specialises in high performance armoured vehicles. I have to confess (shock! horror!) I was not familiar with this brand before today, and always get fascinated when discovering new automotive players with such an extravagant yet unique story to tell. Yankelowich says his cars are based on 3 (non-lethal) bullets: Russian Imperial opulence in the interior, Soviet military power in armouring and German engineering perfection as a platform. All there is to know about the brand can be found on the tidy little documentary above, entirely shot in the city I grew up in: Cannes, France. It features the Prombron Red Diamond and details its specs, including an… interesting fuel ‘economy’ of 25 to 30L per 100km or 6 to 10 mpg… How I missed that enormous Red Diamond driving around on the Croisette Boulevard I will never know.
2012 Dart Prombron Aladeen Edition
The video above also mentions the Dartz ‘Gold Bullet Wheel Edition’ Prombron, complete with gold bullet-adorned wheels, three free bottles of the world’s most expensive vodka RussoBaltique and, wait for it… each vehicle shipped with a complimentary gun (!?). Want more bizarre? The original Kombat model was going to be available in upholstered leather that was made from the foreskin of whale penises… before Dartz backed off after receiving flak.The Kombat line of Prombron vehicles has appeared in a number of movies over the years, such as Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator, for which Dartz smartly released an Aladeed edition (above), Die Hard 5 and The November Man.
CGI promo animation for the Dartz Prombron Black Shark
Dartz has been on the news in the past week because it just unveiled the new Prombron Black Shark, based on the Mercedes Benz GL 63/65 AMG platform. Traditionally the Prombron family of SUVs can be equipped with various levels of armor protection ranging up to ballistic level B7 (using the Soviet Capsule technology), specifically designed to withstand attacks from rocket propelled grenades and land mines. Two available engines: a V8 5.5 L with at least 585 horsepower or a V12 6.0 L with up to 1.500 horsepower. Standard colour options are limited to black, gold, gray, white or camouflage but buyers can also request custom jobs. One of the build slots for the Black Shark has already been claimed, with the owner requesting a Tiffany Blue exterior with Swarovski crystal embedded in the hood and tailgate.
But wait there are more features. Lightless driving (like a paratrooper) is possible, and if you happen to be on the road and in spontaneous need of an international flight (who doesn’t?), you can book a private jet from any major airport directly from the car with BlackJet. The body is made from bullet resistant Kevlar-titanium, to prevent the use of magnetic mines, and also available with military tech like a road analyzer, distance explosive detector and signal jammer. The door handles disappear into the body and have an “anti-paparazzi shock-device.” as well as fingerprint and retina scanner for opening the car. Most buyers won’t be driving the car themselves, so it comes equipped with a “driver vigilance telemetric control system, capable of constant monitoring of the driver’s psycho-physiological condition and overall awareness”. In other words making sure the driver does not fall asleep. Such complicated word for such a simple thing…
Full article below.
Worldwide results are in for the first 7 months of the year for German premium brands and according to Automotive News it looks like BMW’s crown is starting to be in danger from Audi and Mercedes. But let’s get one thing cleared up first. All 3 manufacturers are hitting all-time volume highs so far in 2014! An incredible group performance indeed. BMW has been the global premium car sales leader since overtaking Mercedes in 2005. Audi has ranked second since 2011. Both Audi and Mercedes have said they want to take the top spot by the end of the decade… A fascinating battle indeed.
Over the period BMW brand sales gained 10% year-on-year to 1.03 million units, the first time BMW has passed the million mark this early in the year and a pretty impressive performance if you ask me, helped by the launch of the 2 Series, 4 Series, i3 and X4. But the issue is: both Audi and Mercedes are doing even better. At #2 Audi grew by 11% to 1.01 million units, (also the very first time the brand sells over 1 million units globally in just 7 months) helped by a 52% yoy increase for the A3 last month to 22,450 units due to the arrival of the sedan variant. At the same time Mercedes rose 13% to 920,000 units, thanks mainly to the success of the new C-Class and its new compact range: the A-Class, CLA and GLA.
Because the three competitors are now so close to each other in overall sales, the growth percentage differences were reflected in actual volumes too: BMW sold about 77,000 more units in the seven months this year than last year, but Audi sold about 101,000 more and Mercedes about 104,000 more. Of course, the overall picture is more complex and the 3 premium Germans experience very diverse fortunes in key global markets. Audi is the market leader in both Europe and China, while BMW is the best-seller in the United States.
China has been the big growth market for all three premium German manufacturers in recent years. Here Audi remains the clear leader, with 316,945 units sold in the first seven months — an increase of about 46,000 units equal to 17% growth. Second place BMW grew in volume terms by a similar amount, about 45,000 units, representing a 22% rise, lifting its seven-month sales there to 245,558. Mercedes showed the most dramatic growth in China over the period with a 34% gain, but it is coming from well behind and that increase equated to about 40,000 additional units, bring its 7 months total to 156,843. However this explosive growth may slow since the manufacturer was found guilty of price fixing for after-sales services.
In Europe, Audi sold 474,000 units in the first 7 months this year, up 7% on last year. Mercedes ranks 2nd with a 30,000 increase in units sold to 411,178, but up 8% because it is working off a lower initial base. Against these two, however, BMW lost ground. It sold a total of 396,066 units in Europe, an increase of 6%, or of about 22,000 units, over the same period last year.
In the United States, BMW has the top spot. In the first 7 months it sold 183,791 vehicles, up about 19,300 units or 12% on the same period last year. Mercedes was the country’s No. 2-ranked premium brand with a volume of 178,816, up about 13,200 units or 8% on the same period last year. From a much lower base, Audi’s U.S. sales of 98,965 units represented growth of 13%, but the increase in actual units sold was about 11,000. Audi ranks 4th among premium brands in the U.S. market behind No. 3 Lexus.
Who will win in 2014?
If Mercedes still seems one notch below its two competitors even though it is gaining more ground so far this year, the battle is totally open between BMW and Audi for the year-end global premium crown. Only 20,000 sales separate the two brands after 7 months vs. 26,500 one year ago, however this difference grew to 80,000 at the advantage of BMW at the end of 2013. The A3 sedan is only starting to climb up the sales charts both in the United States and China so I predict Audi to remain extremely close to BMW all through 2014. The arrival of the 2 Series Active Tourer towards the end of the year in Europe could be the decider.
My prediction for the Full Year 2014 is: 1. BMW (1.83 million units, +10%), 2. Audi (1.79 million, +13%), 3. Mercedes (1.65 million, +13%)
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Volkswagen Group is closing in on Toyota as the global leader in vehicle sales, with a rapid expansion drive in China while Toyota curbs growth to focus on shoring up quality, Automotive News said this week. Toyota, worldwide leader both in 2012 and 2013, gains 4% over the first half of 2014 to reach a record 5.097 million vehicle sales, however Volkswagen is closing the gap with the Japanese manufacturer: the German automaker is up 6% to 5.066 million units. As a reminder, Toyota includes the Toyota brand, Lexus, Scion, Daihatsu and Hino while the Volkswagen group’s brands include Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, Scania, Seat and Skoda. In third position, General Motors, which Toyota overtook two years ago, said it sold 4.92 million vehicles in January-June.
According to Automotive News, even if Toyota manages to retain its crown for the first half, its position looks less secure for the full year. And this even though Toyota has shown impressive growth in the US whereas Volkswagen kept skidding. However the US is not the focal point of worldwide automotive sales, China and South-East Asia are. And at this game Volkswagen is doing much better than Toyota. In China, Volkswagen and GM’s largest market, Volkswagen is up 18% to more than 1.8 million sales, topping both GM’s 11% increase to 1.73 million and Toyota’s 12% gain to 0.466 million units. Volkswagen, which sold 3.27 million vehicles in China in 2013, is planning to invest $24.4 billion from now until 2018 in new plants and products there, while Toyota has put a freeze on the building of new plants until about 2016 as the company focuses on building better cars rather than chasing sales volume.
Toyota and Volkswagen both have forecast more than 10 million deliveries for 2014 (whereas Volkswagen had originally anticipated to reach that milestone in 2018). Toyota sold 9.98 million vehicles last year to lead the industry for the second consecutive year, followed by Volkswagen’s 9.73 million and GM’s 9.71 million. Introductions of crucial revamped models by Toyota and Volkswagen will help determine which automaker finishes the year on top. But if Volkswagen could overtake Toyota to become the #1 manufacturer in the world for the first time in 2014, the Japanese carmaker is still the king of profits.
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