BMW managed to take back from Audi the monthly sales crown thanks to its small X1 SUV and the new 3-Series sedan.
In May BMW sold 139,161 vehicles globally, up 7.8%, while Audi’s sales increased 6.4% to 137,200 units. Mercedes-Benz’s sales were up 7.3% to 121,360 vehicles. In April, Audi managed to surpass BMW, as all three German automakers focused on sales outside Europe to offset the loss in their home region.
Although many automakers are forced to make capacity cutbacks in Europe, BMW, Audi and Mercedes are maintaining production this summer to keep up with increasing demand from abroad, therefore keeping plants open during the traditional summer holiday.
“Exports of the German manufacturers to the U.S. and China are generally still going well,” said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler. “The German luxury carmakers are selling well over 50 percent outside Europe, and they are faring better in Europe than their mass-market competitors.”
Both Audi and Mercedes plan to surpass BMW by the end of this decade, all fighting for the crown as the world’s biggest luxury automaker. From January to May BMW’s sales increased 7.2% to 651,168 units, with 11,000 units more than Audi and 88,000 more compared with Mercedes.