Mercedes overtakes Audi, thanks to robust China sales

January 12
4:01 AM 2016

The race for the top rank for luxury automaker sales heats up as Mercedes-Benz overtakes Audi in global sales last year, thanks to strong China sales.

According to Automotive News, Mercedes sales rose 13 percent to 1,871,511 cars sold last year, compared to Audi's 3.6 percent growth to 1,803,250. These figures are record sales for both companies. However, Mercedes got the upper hand with stronger sales growth in China, which is the biggest car market in the world. Mercedes saw a 33 percent increase to 373,459 vehicles sold in China.

Daimler's best seller is its new C-class midsize sedan, which has seen a spike in demand as its sales grew 40 percent to 443,909 cars in 2015. The C-class has been out since March 2014, but its long-wheelbase version's release in China back in July 2014 significantly increased its sales. With Daimler's plan to add a new E-class, further momentum in sales is expected.

Reuters wrote that Daimler board member Hubertus Troska expects Mercedes luxury brand to continue its growth in China. He said that the recent market volatility in the China is not a big issue for the brand. He said, "We are not overly worried with what we have seen in the past days."

Meanwhile, Volkswagen Group AG's Audi saw an increase in sales in the US by 11.1 percent in 2015 to 202,202 vehicles. Its Germany sales went up 5.7 percent to 270,063 units.

However, according to Auto Evolution, BMW is still projected to surpass both Mercedes and Audi at the number one spot in sales worldwide. BMW surpassed Mercedes in sales in the American soil for several consecutive months.

BMW earned the number one spot in 2014 with 1.81 million vehicles sold. The company expects to surpass that figure in 2015. In the first three quarter of 2015 alone, it has increased its sales by 5.8 percent to 1,395,780 million. The brand is yet to report its sales. 

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