Published on January 25th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW Still Number One 9-Years Running
BMW Group retained the lead in global luxury-car sales for the ninth straight year in 2013 even as Audi and Mercedes-Benz stepped up efforts to overtake their rival. Sales at the namesake BMW brand increased 8 percent to a record 1.66 million cars in 2013, fueled by demand for the 3-series sedan and X1 compact SUV. Audi’s annual sales rose 8 percent to 1.58 million, while Mercedes’ deliveries increased 11 percent to 1.46 million.
“The BMW Group posted record sales once again in 2013 and is clearly the number one in the premium segment,” BMW sales chief Ian Robertson said in the statement. “Despite the prevailing headwinds in many markets, we aim to increase sales and make 2014 another record year.”
BMW is stepping up spending on new models to fend off Mercedes and Audi, which have both vowed to take the lead in the segment by the end of the decade. To keep its edge, BMW plans this year to expand its lineup with the introduction of the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and, at the recent Detroit auto show, the carmaker showcased the new 2-series compact coupe, which it hopes will help it regain the luxury-car sales lead in the United States, which it lost to Mercedes last year. The 2 series will replace the 1 series in the U.S. in the first quarter.
Sales at the group’s Mini brand rose 1 percent last year to 305,030, boosted by a 6 percent jump in December to 30,455. Demand for Rolls-Royce vehicles rose 2 percent in 2013 to 3,630, the fourth consecutive year of record sales and the highest annual tally in the brand’s 110-year history, BMW said. Group sales including the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands rose 6 percent to 1.96 million vehicles last year, the automaker said. December sales rose 3 percent to 186,786.