BMW sneaks ahead of Audi to claim global luxury sales leadership

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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BMW is once again the number one selling luxury automaker, bypassing Audi in February according to Bloomberg.

"In February the BMW Group achieved another healthy increase in sales and we intend to continue the positive development with exciting new models throughout the year," said BMW's head of sales Ian Robertson.

BMW sales increased by seven-percent last month, improving on Audi's 3.2-percent sales gain. The Munich-based automaker only leads by the proverbial hair mind you, besting its Ingolstadt-headquartered rival by a mere 407 deliveries.

And how does Mercedes-Benz fit into the mix? Unfortunately for the Stuttgart firm sales have been slow with a 5.8-percent decline in February. A shocking 37,229 fewer three-pointed star models trickled off dealership lots than those wearing the blue and white roundel. Reasons for Mercedes' sagging sales may include midsize buyers waiting for the upcoming redesigned 2014 E-Class, while Stuttgart could sell more compact A- and B-Class models if it had them available, so therefore production is being increased to meet demand. Lastly, the stylish new CLA sedan will enter the M-B lineup in April, which should help Mercedes improve on the sales charts.

While sales in Europe continue to be off for most carmakers and North American deliveries strong, Mercedes took its biggest hit in China where it saw a 47-percent decrease in buyers. Audi was down in China too, but only by 3.5-percent, whereas BMW enjoyed a 3.2-percent gain. Some analysts look to the Chinese New Year taking place in February this year instead of January as it did in 2012 as part of the problem, but that wouldn't explain BMW's improvement over the same time period.

Top of BMW's list of bestsellers is the compact X1 crossover, which saw a 40-percent sales gain in February, as well as the 3 Series which is up 26-percent. Audi saw strength from its new A1 compact and Q3, two models that are not available in Canada.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: BMW, 3 Series, X1,

Organizations: BMW

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