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Mercedes Defends Sales Crown, Again

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand is still the global sales champ among luxury car brands.
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Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand is still the global sales champ among luxury car brands.

Mercedes outsold its archrival BMW brand by 2.34 million vehicles to 2.17 million last year for the fourth time in a row. Volkswagen’s Audi unit again came in third at 1.85 million units.

So What?

Such rankings don’t mean much—unless you happen to be employed by one of those companies. What is significant is that all three brands notched record-high volumes in 2019, even though the world’s largest car markets are either stalling or shrinking.

This is the time of year when all car companies predict that a parade of new models will buoy their sales in the months ahead. The luxury marques are no exception.

Mercedes promises 10 new or updated models this year. Audi and BMW credit their gains in 2019 to new or refreshed models and say bevies of new hybrid and all-electric vehicles will bolster their sales this year.

The Outlook

Audi, BMW and Mercedes expect to do well this year, although BMW anticipates only a “slight” gain because of weakening global economic conditions.

But with trade tensions showing no sign of easing, there are plenty of caveats to go along with any and all forecasts for the new year.

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