Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW gain more customers than their mass-market rivals, thanks to their new small cars.
Over the past six years of downturn in Europe, BMW’s market share has increased to 5% from 4%, Audi increased to 6% from 4% and Mercedes rose to 5% from 4.5%. GM, Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroen have each dropped more than 2 percentage points during the same period. The German premium automakers’ strategy, which made them get more market share, was to expand into the small car segment.
Since the beginning of the year BMW’s market share in Europe was 6.3% with sales of 514,864 units, up 3 percentage points compared with 2012. Fiat’s share was 6.2%, with 507,751 units sold, a decrease from 6.5%. Mercedes gained 6%, thanks to its A-Class, B-Class and CLA four-door coupe.
“The luxury carmakers have invaded the compact and small-car segment, and many customers are willing to pay a little more to buy a luxury car,” said Peter Fuss, a partner at consultant Ernst & Young in Frankfurt.
BMW’s sales in August increased 9%, thanks to the Gran Turismo version of the 3-series sedan, which increased 47% being the fourth best selling vehicle in Europe for the month. BMW has now 21 models in Europe from 14 in 2007 and Audi has also double its lineup to 46 vehicles in the past 6 years, including the A1 subcompact, the Q3 SUV and the A3 compact.