BMW, in recent years the No.1 premium brand in the world in terms of sales volume, has been constantly under pressure from Audi, the constant underdog and Mercedes-Benz, who seeks to get back to the top after falling third.
Investors are not overly satisfied with the moves from the German trio – saying their egotistical race comes with too many sacrifices – chief among them being the profit margin.
For the six-month period that just passed, all three automakers posted record deliveries – BMW went up 10% to 886,347 cars, thanks mainly to increased sales in the SUV line-up. Second placed Audi also grew 11% to 869,350 units, buoyed by increased sales for the A3 line-up and again the SUVs. Mercedes-Benz jumped its deliveries by 13% to 783,520 autos, with the automaker expecting even better results as it globally releases the new C Class.
“During the second half, Mercedes should have the best momentum, judging by where they are in their models’ cycles,” said Daniel Schwarz, an analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “Wherever Mercedes is offering new models, we see more discounting among their competitors.”
Altogether, throughout the January to June period BMW lost again some ground to both rivals, its gap with Audi narrowing to 16,997 cars from the same period in 2013 when it was 23,760. Mercedes-Benz also narrowed the difference, with sales coming 6% better at a gap of 102,827 autos.
Via Automotive News Europe