BMW Widens Luxury Sales Lead Over Audi


Bloomberg News

In the global race for lux­ury sales supremacy, BMW has widened its lead over its rival Audi in the lux­ury car indus­try in the first six months of 2013 despite Euro­pean setbacks.

Find out more about this hot race for top global lux­ury sales leader.

BMW widened its lead in the lux­ury car indus­try in the first six months of 2013 as sales of the revamped 3-Series model surged 22 percent.

Global deliv­er­ies by the BMW brand rose 7.7 per­cent from a year ear­lier to 804,248 cars and sport-utility vehi­cles, the Munich-based com­pany said in a state­ment today.

First-half deliv­er­ies were at record highs for the period as the three Ger­man luxury-auto pro­duc­ers side­stepped reces­sions in Europe with growth in the U.S. and China. BMW, Ingolstadt-based Audi and Stuttgart-based Mer­cedes are largely main­tain­ing pro­duc­tion through­out July and August to meet over­seas demand, rather than shut­ting plants for tra­di­tional sum­mer breaks.

“The luxury-car mak­ers prof­ited from growth in China, the U.S. and emerg­ing mar­kets in the first half, avoid­ing the brunt of the Euro­pean slow­down,” said Marc-Rene Tonn, a Hamburg-based ana­lyst at War­burg Research GmbH. “We expect the Euro­pean mar­ket to sta­bi­lize in the sec­ond half and the premium-car mak­ers should get their share of it while growth in the U.S. and emerg­ing mar­kets should continue.”

Audi expects to get a lift in the sec­ond half from a new sedan ver­sion of the A3 com­pact, Luca de Meo, the brand’s sales chief, said in the division’s state­ment. The model goes on sale in Europe in Sep­tem­ber and in the U.S. and China in 2014.

Mer­cedes is push­ing to make up lost ground by rolling out a new line of entry-level com­pacts, includ­ing the CLA four-door coupe, and refresh­ing upscale mod­els like the top-of-the-line S-Class sedan. Sales of the brand’s com­pact mod­els, includ­ing the A-Class hatch­back and van-like B-Class, surged 58 per­cent to 173,362 vehi­cles in the first half.