It is official: Mercedes-Benz is No1 premium carmaker in 2016

Mercedes-Audi-BMW sales 2016
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After BMW has announced today the sales results for 2016, we have the confirmation. Mercedes-Benz is No. 1 premium carmaker in 2016, two years ahead of the plan.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO, is probably the happiest man in the world. He succeed to reach his ambitious plan two years before the deadline. Mercedes-Benz is the best selling premium brand in 2016, with 2,083,888 units. This is the best result in the Mercedes history.

Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “2016 was the most successful year for Mercedes-Benz in the history of the company, and the sixth record year in succession.

By comparison, BMW sold 2,003,233 units in 2016, while Audi has reached a level of 1,871,350 units.

We cannot compare the results by regions due to the fact that BMW is announcing only global sales for BMW and Mini in Europe, Asia-Pacific and NAFTA.

On the other hand, BMW Group claims its leading position as a group with 2,367,603 units sold (2,003,359 BMW, 360,233 Mini and 4,011 Rolls-Royce), while Mercedes sold together with Smart 2,228,367 units.

Coming back to brands, Mercedes sold more cars than Audi in Europe, Asia-Pacific and NAFTA regions.

Making an estimation regarding distribution of the Mini sales around the globe, we can say that Mercedes is leader in Asia-Pacific region and has a slight advance ahead of BMW in Europe and NAFTA region.

Sales in Europe

Europe was the biggest sales region for Mercedes-Benz once again in 2016, with a growth of 12.4%, primarily thanks to the high demand for the E-Class and the SUV. Almost 900,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles were sold to customers in Europe in the past twelve months, 293,209 went to Germany.

BMW and Mini sold 1,091,192 vehicles in Europe, an increase of 9.2%. Every market in the region contributed to that record figure, with many achieving double-digit growth. BMW and MINI sales in Italy grew by 17.7% (83,750) while Spain saw sales increase by 21.0% (55,096). Meanwhile more than a quarter of a million BMWs and MINIs were delivered to customers in the UK, where sales were up 9.2% compared with the previous year.

Audi sales grew by 7.6% in Europe to around 860,600 vehicles, an increase of almost 100,000 units compared to 2014. In Germany (+8.6% to 293,307 cars), the United Kingdom (+6.4% to 177,565 cars), France (+8.5% to 65,362 cars) and Italy (+15.5% to 62,430 cars), more

customers than ever before opted for the four rings in 2016. Up 16.4 percent to 51,879 units sold, Spain achieved the highest growth of all Audi’s global top markets. By contrast, the ongoing market downturn in Russia had a negative impact as local Audi sales fell for the third year, with 20,706 deliveries and a drop of 19.3 percent.

Sales in Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region was also a playground for the three-pointed star company, which is the leader in this part of the world. 734,169 vehicles were delivered to their new owners, an increase of 19.3%. China was, once again, the biggest individual market for Mercedes-Benz, with a new record of 472,844 units (+26.6%).

Sales of BMW and MINI vehicles in Asia also experienced strong growth in 2016 with a total of 745,784 vehicles delivered, up 9.0% compared with 2015. The region’s largest market, Mainland China, achieved an 11.3% increase, with a total of 516,355 vehicles sold. This is the first time more than half a million BMWs and MINIs were sold in China in a single year. Many other markets in the region also achieved strong growth in 2016: Japan (74,935 / +8.3%) and South Korea (58,500 / +7.2%) are just two examples.

In China, Audi increased its sales on a very high level by another 3.6 percent to 591,554 deliveries.

Sales in NAFTA region

 In the NAFTA region, almost 400,000 Mercedes-Benz automobiles were sold last year (+0.6%). The Americans got 340,237 vehicles, while more cars than ever before were sold in in Canada (+4%) and Mexico (+34.4%).

Full-year sales of BMW and MINI vehicles in the Americas were 7.2% lower than the record high achieved in 2015, with a total of 458,982 units delivered to customers this year. While Canada achieved growth of 6.1% (44,621) and deliveries in Mexico, Argentina and Latin American importer markets rose 15.4% (34,670), the exceptionally competitive market conditions in the USA saw sales there down 9.7% (365,204).

In the United States, Audi once again outperformed the clearly decelerating overall market, as it had done in previous years. Audi was the only major premium manufacturer to post substantial growth in 2016: up 4 percent to 210,213 units, but the sales remain well behind BMW and Mercedes.

Sales by models


The compact range is the one that took sales one step higher, with a growth of 9.3%, as 636,903 customers received their brand-new A- or B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake or GLA. China and Germany recorded the highest demand of compact cars. The C-Class sedan still is the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model in 2016, with approximately 425,000 units.

Since the market launch of the current generation in 2013, more than 300,000 S-Class limousines have reached their new drivers, keeping the Mercedes-Benz flagship in a leading position as the world’s best-selling luxury saloon also in 2016. More than ten percent of all automobiles sold in the S-Class segment were Maybach models.

700,000 Mercedes-Benz SUVs were sold worldwide in 2016, marking a 34.3% increase. Never before were so many units of the GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS and G-Class models sold in a single year. The rugged 1979-born G-Class hit a sales record with almost 20,000 units sold in one year.


BMW has sold 644,992 SUV models in 2016, which represent a 22.3% increase compared with 2015.

BMW 2 Series is another success family model with 196,183 units sold (+24.8%).

Even is still far from the S-Class success, the BMW 7 Series sales grows by 69.2% to a total of 61,514 units.

Electric vehicles sales topped 62,000 in 2016. BMW Group now offers 7 electrified models, the broadest range of any manufacturer.


Audi sold 337,550 units from the new Audi A4, which is the leader in Europe with 164,600 units sold (+25.7%).

The third generation of the Q7 has reached to around 102,200 customers (+43.6%). Is the first time when Q7 achieved more than 100,000 deliveries per year.

Audi expect a strong grow in the SUV segment after the launch of the new compact Audi Q2 and the new mid-size SUV Audi Q5.

Sport models

BMW does not say one word about M models sales, so we have results only for Mercedes and Audi.

There was a record year for the Mercedes power house as well, as AMG delivered 99,235 cars in 2016, with a 44.1% growth, right before celebrating the company’s 50-year existence. The product portofolio expanded with more than ten new models, a move mirrored by the sales that more than tripled in the past three years.

Audi Sport GmbH sold for the first time more than 20,000 cars. R and RS models reaches 20,200 units (+18%). The new Audi R8 accelerated by 31.8% to about 2,890 cars sold.

BrandDec-16Change from 2015January- December 2016Change from 2015
thereof Germany25,1694.30%293,2097.20%
thereof USA32,011-6.40%340,237-0.80%
thereof Japan7,1788.30%67,2333.50%
thereof China43,51915.20%472,84426.60%
thereof Germany17,6543.30%293,3078.60%
thereof China516,355*11.30%
thereof Japan74,935*8.30%
thereof USA365,204-9.70%
* BMW communicate sales data by regions only together with Mini