Audi and Mercedes are catching up to BMW image

The global sales race has been a heated battle for many years, but the figures from last month showed the sprint is one that could soon require a photo finish.

Both Mercedes-Benz and Audi are narrowing the gap with the global luxury leader BMW – the seven-month results show that the latter’s sales climbed 10% to 1.03 million units. While this is the first time ever the company reaches the milestone so early, the growth soon might not be enough to keep the leadership position.

Third placed Mercedes-Benz has increased deliveries during the same period by 13% to 920,000 vehicles and Ola Kaellenius, the brand’s sales chief comments the momentum is even stronger now as the latest compact model and SUV introductions secure increased customer demand. Meanwhile, second placed Audi (BMW overtook Mercedes for the top spot in 2005 and VW’s unit in 2011 for the second place) grew its seven-month sales by 11% to 1.01 million cars.

Now the differences between the three brands are so low there’s no need to give percentages, instead reflecting the gaps with actual volume numbers – BMW increased its tally in the first seven months of 2014 by 77,000 autos, while Audi sold 101,000 and Mercedes around 104,000 more than in the same period of 2013.

VIa Automotive News Europe