The pecking order at the top of the global premium segment for 2019 remained the same as 2018, with the two German powerhouses – Mercedes-Benz and BMW – announcing best-ever annual sales achievements amidst modest year-to-year growth, with BMW narrowing the gap slightly to Mercedes-Benz.
No stopping the Germans
Mercedes-Benz delivered 2,339,562 cars last year – a 1.3% increase over 2018 to confirm its number one position held since 2016; BMW delivered a total of 2,168,516 cars to customer, a 2.0% increase over 2018, while Audi managed 1,845,550, up 1.8% from 2018.
All three German brands experienced an uptake in China despite the Chinese auto market experiencing a slowdown, with SUVs driving sales for all three German brands. For example, one in every three Mercedes-Benz sold in 2019 was an SUV, while 44% of all BMWs sold were an X model.
Volvo marches on
While Volvo’s 705,452 sales total in 2019 doesn’t constitute even half of what any of the top three Germans’ total, breaching the 700,000-unit mark is a watershed for Volvo – an increase of 9.8% compared to 2018 and may have exceeded Lexus’s total (yet to be announced). Again, the key models which drove sales were its SUVs, across multiple markets.
Tesla ends year on a high
A strong final quarter of the year saw Tesla end 2019 on a high with approximately 367,500 cars delivered – which is over 50% more than 2018’s total of 245,240, powered by the new Model 3 sedan. With its Shanghai plant ready to churn out new cars at 3,000 units per week, expect Tesla’s volume in China to pick up considerably in 2020.