Premium European brands with different sales results
The worldwide sales of German premium brands, like BMW and Mercedes, are stagnating. Volvo (owned by Chinese Geely), on the contrary, is flourishing.
We already informed about the poor results of the third German competitor, VW daughter Audi, when the new CEO, Bram Schot, was appointed. Recently the competitors published their results.
German car manufacturer, Daimler, has had some difficulties selling its premium brand Mercedes-Benz in 2018. Like Audi sales in Europe and the States receded but were compensated by growing sales in China with a result which is still slightly positive compared to 2017, but the increase is less than one percent, significantly less than the previous years.
Last year 2,3 million Mercedes passenger cars were sold, a figure with which the manufacturer from Stuttgart will (only just) precede its Munich rival, BMW, in the sales of luxury cars. With the sales of Smart cars well under 100.000 units, the Daimler total sales are not as important as these of BMW Group.
Practically at the same time BMW released its figures for the last year. In 2018, BMW Group sold 2,49 million cars, 1,1% more than the year before. Those figures have to be divided between BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce and that’s the reason why Mercedes is still the biggest seller of luxury cars in the world.
BMW’s CEO, Harald Krüger, apparently doesn’t agree with this statement and claims the number one position as luxury car maker. He is right if you can consider Mini also as a luxury brand. The total sales of Rolls-Royces (less than 5.000) have no influence here.
The laughing fourth in this quartet is Swedish car manufacturer Volvo. For the first time in its existence Volvo has built and sold more than 600.000 cars in one year, 642. 253 to be precise.
The increase is 12,4% compared to 2017 and its the fifth year in a row Volvo sales are increasing significantly. The best car sold is the XC60 who found 189.459 buyers.
In Belgium Volvo realized 20.155 sales, an increase of 11,82% compared to 2017. That way Volvo reached a 3,67% market share in Belgium, the Volvo’s V40, V60 and XC60 being the most popular models. The introduction of the new XC40 was too late to see the full impact yet.
Germans under pressure
Out of these figures you can also deduct that the German car industry is under pressure. Latest news and analyses have shown that the whole German industry is under pressure, but the car industry stands out.
Dieselgate is still having its impact and everybody was astonished that the German manufacturers have mismanaged the transfer to WLTP emission regulations, making a lot of models/engine versions temporarily unavailable on the market.