BMW Takes Back Luxury Lead from Audi in May


Bloomberg News

While BMW, Volk­swa­gen (Audi) and Mercedes-Benz con­stantly com­pete for the top sell­ing posi­tion in lux­ury autos, BMW had a good month against its com­peti­tors in May.

Learn more about BMW’s global deliv­er­ies suc­cess last month.

Baverische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)‘s name­sake brand regained the monthly sales crown from Volk­swa­gen AG’s Audi divi­sion as the small X1 sport-utility vehi­cle and new 3-Series sedan won customers.

BMW’s global deliv­er­ies in May rose 7.8 per­cent from a year ear­lier to 139,161 cars and SUVs, the Munich-based com­pany said in a state­ment today. Demand at Audi in May rose 6.4 per­cent to 137,200 units. Third-ranked Daim­ler AG’s Mercedes-Benz divi­sion boosted sales 7.3 per­cent to 121,360 cars and SUVs.

Audi’s deliv­er­ies beat BMW’s in April as the three Ger­man com­peti­tors pushed out­side of Europe to escape the effects of their home region’s sixth annual auto-market decline. In con­trast to capac­ity cut­backs at Euro­pean vol­ume car­mak­ers, BMW, Ingolstadt-based Audi and Stuttgart-based Mer­cedes are main­tain­ing pro­duc­tion in July and August to meet demand from abroad, rather than shut­ting plants for sum­mer vacations.

“Exports of the Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­ers to the U.S. and China are gen­er­ally still going well,” said Juer­gen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based ana­lyst with Bankhaus Met­zler. “The Ger­man lux­ury car­mak­ers are sell­ing well over 50 per­cent out­side Europe, and they are far­ing bet­ter in Europe than their mass-market competitors.”

Audi and Mer­cedes have each out­lined plans to over­take BMW as the world’s biggest maker of lux­ury cars by the end of this decade at the lat­est, and the VW unit also out­sold BMW in Jan­u­ary. Five-month sales at BMW climbed 7.2 per­cent to 651,168 cars and SUVs. BMW sold 11,000 more vehi­cles than Audi in the period, and 88,000 more than Mercedes.

X1 sales in May jumped 29 per­cent, while deliv­er­ies of the 3-Series, which was intro­duced in early 2012, increased 28 per­cent, BMW said. Group sales, includ­ing the Mini small-car brand, increased 13 per­cent in Asia, pro­pelled by gains of 16 per­cent in Japan and 15 per­cent in main­land China, it said.