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One Bloomberg story about worldwide premium sales I thought was interesting enough to share here. After being passed by Audi in worldwide sales in January, BMW regained the top spot in luxury auto sales last month with sales up 7% year-on-year thanks to the success of the new generation 3 Series (+26%) and X1 (+40%). Comparatievely, Audi is up ‘only’ 3% year-on-year, pushed by strong results from the A1 and Q3. BMW, which has been the world’s biggest luxury carmaker since 2005, is now in the lead year-to-date in 2013 as well but only 407 units ahead of Audi…
BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said at the Geneva Motorshow this week that the carmaker’s factories are running at full capacity to keep up with customer demand. Meanwhile, Mercedes has fallen further behind in spite of the success of the new A-Class and B-Class models, delivering 37,229 vehicles fewer than BMW in February, down 6% year-on-year and up just 1% year-to-date. What is Mercedes doing about this?
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Bloomberg said “Mercedes is looking for a sales boost this year once it adds the CLA four-door coupe to its compact car line-up in April and brings out a revamped version of its upscale E-Class at the same time. A new generation of Mercedes’s flagship S-Class sedan is scheduled to reach showrooms in the second half. To meet rising demand of its A and B-Class compact cars, the manufacturer will increase production of the vehicles with 21 extra shifts at the plant in Rastatt, Germany. The compact car facility in Kecskemet, Hungary, will add Saturday production from April onwards and more SUVs will be built at the U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Daimler has said.
Sales at the German luxury carmakers took a hit last month because the Chinese New Year, which happened in January in 2012, fell in February this year. Audi, which has the highest deliveries in the country of the three, posted a 3.5% contraction in China, while Mercedes dropped 47%. BMW, which also owns the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, increased sales 3% in the country.