The figures for last month are in from all three German premium automakers, which form the leading worldwide triumvirate: BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
The only thing is that after last month’s tally the top three would look slightly different: Mercedes-Benz is first, followed by BMW and Audi. That’s because the Daimler AG brand was the world’s best selling luxury car marquee for the third consecutive month in September, jumping ahead of BMW and Audi on the back of rising sales of SUVs and outstanding performance in the slumping China. Mercedes-Benz sales jumped 16 percent in September to 188,400 autos, ahead of BMW’s tally of 180,500 cars or Audi’s total of 170,900 autos. According to analysts, the main reason why Mercedes-Benz could end up this year ahead of Audi for the first time since 2010 is the myriad of new releases in the sport utility line-up, including the smallish GLA, the all new compact GLC and the refreshed GLE or its coupe-SUV version the GLE Coupe.
Making the difference was the world’s largest market – China – where Mercedes has seen a tremendous rally since the start of the year, jumping 31 percent through September. That goes much to say when reading the tally for BMW – two percent increase – and for Audi, which is more or less just breaking even. “What’s encouraging to see is volume growth for all three carmakers in China, not only for the month of September but for the year so far,” comments Marc-Rene Tonn, a Hamburg-based analyst with Warburg Research. Audi deliveries grew 2.9 percent last month in China, BMW soared 12 percent and Mercedes-Benz took the lion’s share with a massive 53 percent gain.