BMW hits 2017 sales record but Mercedes keeps lead
Berlin: BMW reported record sales last year on strong demand for its sport-utility vehicles and the overhauled 1-Series compact but was outsold by Mercedes-Benz, keeping the order in the three-way German luxury sales race unchanged.
Sales of BMW brand models rose 4.2% in 2017 to 2.09 million passenger cars and SUVs, the Munich-based carmaker said on Friday, compared with a 9.9% gain to 2.29 million at Mercedes, which claimed the top spot in global luxury-car sales rankings for a second year.
Registrations at Volkswagen’s Audi premium division edged up 0.6% to a record 1.88 million cars, it said on Friday, benefiting from a 34% December surge in China, the brand’s largest market.
BMW, which had kept the global luxury sales crown for about a decade before slipping behind Mercedes in 2016, said deliveries were fuelled by a 9.6% gain for its SUV lineup and a 15% increase for the 1-Series.
“I’m confident BMW sales will continue to grow during 2018, while we also maintain our focus on profitability,” said new sales chief Pieter Nota, who replaced Ian Robertson on 1 January.
BMW posted a 9.5% gain in December registrations to 195,916 vehicles, narrowly beating Mercedes and Audi whose sales came in at 193,534 and 180,250 cars respectively.