Premium sales: Mercedes-Benz still ahead of BMW and Audi, amidst consistent declines

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Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi all reported declining sales figures in February, but the Stuttgart manufacturer remains the leader in the overall standings of the premium sales rankings.

This year began with significant sales declines for the top three premium manufacturers in Europe and the situation is only getting worse, according to February results. Mercedes-Benz announced that it sold 152.690 units globally in the second month of the year, down 6.7% compared to the same period of 2018. In the January to February time frame, Mercedes delivered 333.229 cars, also corresponding to a decline of 6.7%.

Mercedes-Benz sales: More than 150,000 cars sold in February

Mercedes argues that the decrease is mainly caused by the switch of generations for the CLA and GLE. On a more positive note, the all-new B-Class is doing very well, with a 16% increase in sales reported for February.

If we take a insight look at regional sales, the traditional European market evolution remained virtually unchanged in February with a recorded decline of -0.1%. Meanwhile, the Asian market dropped the most: -9.8%. The models which gained the best sales momentum last month were the compact A-Class (+ 20.8%) and the T-Modell estate variant of the bread-and-butter C-Class mid-size Mercedes (+ 15.8%).

On second place we find, as usual, arch-rival BMW, which sold 148,012 units in February, down 4.7%. The Bavarian producer claims that the decrease in sales is generated by the generation change for the brand’s best-seller, the 3 Series, as the new model is just reaching the showrooms.

In the first two months of the year, BMW found 297,640 new customers, a decrease of 2.0% compared to the previous year. On the other hand, BMW notes a significant (and rather promising!) 20% increase in sales for the i3 electric model in January and February.

According to regions, the Germans recorded a 3.2% sales drop in Europe, while the core Asian market is also down by 5.1%, despite a 0.6% increase in China. These results also include the Mini brand and the BMW Motorrad brand.

Last but not least, Audi sold 119,800 cars in February, down 8.5%. The company from Ingolstadt has seen a strong decline in all of its major markets, the only notable exception being the 1.8% growth recorded in China. Unlike Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Audi has dropped strongly due to the limited supply of models that meet the new WLTP emission standard. For the January and February time frame, Audi reported a decline of 5.5%, deliveries dropping to 264,500 cars.

Brand February 2019 Change Jan-Feb 2019 Change
Mercedes 152.690 -6.7% 333.229 -6.7%
BMW 148.012 -4.7% 297.640 -2.0%
Audi 119.800 -8.5% 264.500 -5.5%