Audi jumps ahead of BMW in worldwide luxury brand sales

Smiles abound in Ingolstadt right about now, as that German city’s four-ringed pride and joy leads the blue and white roundel
2014 Audi A3 Cabriolet
Audi is ahead of BMW in the global luxury segment sales race, and models like the new A3 sedan and this A3 Cabriolet will help maintain its lead. (Photo: Audi)
bunch from Bayerische, 80 km down the A9, in the global premium brand sales race. It’s true. Audi is ahead of BMW on the worldwide sales charts, albeit by only 383 vehicles over the first two months of 2014.

Audi says that it’s sold 242,400 units from January 1 through February 28, a 9.3-percent gain over the same period last year, whereas BMW is only up 8.9 percent with 242,017 units sold over the same period.

“Competition in the premium segment is more intense than ever,” stated Audi CEO Rupert Stadler in a Bloomberg report. According to Bloomberg, Audi was 429 units behind BMW during the same two months last year, which when added to the 383-unit lead it has now represents an 812-unit gain over January and February last year.

BMW has
2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
BMW won’t take sitting in second place lightly, and models like this new 2 Series Active Tourer should help bring the premium brand back into first place. (Photo: BMW)
been the leader of luxury vehicle sales for the past nine years, having taken over the reigns from Mercedes-Benz that has now dropped to a distant third. And how has the Stuttgart-based three-pointed star carmaker fared over the last two months? Sales have been nothing to sneeze at with 229,630 units having left M-B’s global dealership network, but the number three German luxury brand is still lagging behind significantly.

The news has to be pleasing 500 km north of Audi’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, too, as that city’s biggest business is trying to become the world’s largest automaker, Volkswagen on track to sell more than 10 million vehicles (including heavy trucks) during 2014, which might give it enough sales to bypass Japanese mega-corp Toyota.

While BMW is investing millions into new products such as the upcoming front-wheel drive
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
Mercedes-Benz might be in third, but small crossover SUVs like this compact GLA-Class will surely make a difference in its quest for a larger piece of the premium pie. (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
2 Series Active Tourer, designed to pull new entry-level buyers into the brand family (expect this little runabout to be a big seller), new niche models such as the 4 Series Gran Coupe and X4 crossover coupe, the revised X3 compact crossover, plus an entirely new electrified division that will wear the “i” badge and begin sales with a compact i3 four-door hatchback and sleek, powerful super coupe dubbed i8, Audi will fight back with an all-new A3 compact that moves from the slower-selling five-door hatch/wagon segment into the more mainstream four-door sport sedan class, while it just unveiled an all-new TT sports car to excite the brand’s faithful and bring new buyers into Audi showrooms. Audi will continue its new model onslaught with a €22 billion (CAD$33.9 billion) investment over the next five years, helping it maintain its competitiveness in the premium sector.

While Audi employees are no doubt on a high right now, they’ll want to curb their enthusiasm for the time being and continue their hard work, as there are 10 months left and BMW won’t exactly be raising the white flag anytime soon. Expect this one to get dirty as the months click by, we’re in for one very exciting high stakes heavyweight fight. Mercedes-Benz will just have to enjoy watching this one from ringside.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)