By on December 8, 2010

You-know-what-eating grins in Munich: BMW outsold rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz around the world last month on strong sales of the new 5er and the new X1 SUV.

According to Bloomberg, sales of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce models rose 20 percent to 129,014 units in November. Audi increased its sales a lame 5.2 percent to 87,050 units. Deliveries by Daimler jumped 14 percent to 112,300.

On an 11 month basis, Audi sold 1,003,900 units. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand increased sales 16 percent to 1.06 million units in the first 11 months. BMW is in the unassailable lead with 1.11 million units sold, up 15 percent from last year.

Bottom line: All three are close, but BMW will end the year again as the king of luxury in Deutschland. Audi is taking their old time in chasing BMW out of the passing lane: The boys from Ingolstadt plan to overtake BMW by 2015.

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17 Comments on “BMW Leads Audi, Mercedes...”

  • avatar

    Well, I think they deserve to be no 1.

    Then again I have been a bit of a fan of the brand for ever since I can remember, so I’m not completely unbiased. Still, I think as you are paying a premium price for all of these cars, they have to deliver some special qualities to justify that and IMO, BMW does so the most with their driving experience that is still (for now) class leading for almost all of their models.
    Audi are intrinsically wrong wheel drive, quattro or not, the car’s chassis is still designed from a understeery FWD starting point (except the R8) and it shows, for instance in comparisons with the RS5 and M3 that both have basically the same spec sheet, yet the M3 trashes it on real driving circuits (in the dry, that is). They do make nice interiors though and the A5 is very pretty. There’s nothing wrong with a base model A4 or A5 but their bigger models…meh. I did like the previous/current A6 Avant but the new one has a weird looking face.
    Then as for Mercedes, I used to REALLY dislike them (as a BMW fan) and didn’t really need to think twice about it cause most of their late 90s early 00s products were terrible. Now I see some of their cars are improving, but I still don’t like the new styling and in general would just rather have the competing BMW. I sort of think the C and GL are nice, the E coupe maybe…otherwise not so much.

  • avatar

    Does anyone know if each company’s product mix is markedly different? Or put another way, what are their sales in Dollars (or Euros.)? Pretty much anyone can move lots of units (for a while, at least) if they just make them cheap enough.

  • avatar

    JJ I gotta agree , as long as it’s not rainy, or snowy , or icy , or just very slippery or we are on a racetrack the Audi is intrinsically wrong.
    Thank god that never happens anywhere in North America.

    • 0 avatar

      I think offering both is the best strategy.  Not much of an argument RWD is the best handling set-up and having AWD as an option for the people who live in heavy snow load areas.  As someone who was an AWD owner and disciple who now goes RWD I must say that I prefer RWD with proper tires and DSC/ASC over AWD. I don’t care if you live in Anchorage, Aspen, Duluth or Buffalo most of your annual driving is on easily navigated roads with RWD might as well enjoy it.
      Ok maybe not Buffalo…..

  • avatar

    BMWs used to be elegantly styled, have cockpits that focused on the driver without gadgets targeted at developmentally arrested children, and mechanicals that would last hundreds of thousands of miles with reasonable maintenance. First the durability left, and people just bought more BMWs. Next was the discovery of video games and tacky gimmicks that would have embarrassed 1958 GM. Then styling went into the toilet. All along, people just bought more. Now they’ve released a 5-series that even Car and Driver admits isn’t a driver’s car. Figures it would be the impetus to take BMW over its competitors in sales.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah they could get rid of all the gizmo’s which are the same gizmo’s everyone in this class and others load into their cars.  Get the weight back down to sub-3000 to make it “nimble” and “driver orientated” and killer on a track.  Kill all the luxury items, build in 200k durability, get rid of the highly successful yet highly controversial styling and guess what?  They would sell about 300 a year, mostly to car junkies like TAC readers.  I miss the good ol days as much as anyone, but they are gone.

    • 0 avatar


      They built their brand on the sort of cars you mock. Detroit and Tokyo luxury always involved gimmicks, complexity, and attention grabbing style. BMW built cars with sound fundamentals for serious people. They didn’t sell as many cars as they do now that they target insecure people who MUST have the latest thing, but they sold enough cars to influence the products of others. I’m not suggesting that they’d sell as many cars, for all sorts of reasons. It is a shame that serious enthusiasts no longer comprise a market worth anyone’s time. It isn’t like we didn’t pay for our efficient BMWs. An E30 325is cost $28K in 1988. Adjusted for inflation, that is at least the base price of a 335i today. Mind you back then there were only about 2 options, but the reality is that BMW replaced their quality with toys.

  • avatar

    A good set of the right tires at the right time of year is the key to RWD pleasure. That probably means 2 sets of rims and tires and some discipline about switching them around in a timely manner.
    Sadly most owners don’t do that, and when an unexpected snowstorm hits many of those vehicles behaved quite normally.
    We had such a storm recently and when I passed my local auto body repair shop the following week there were several “ultimate driving machines” no doubt providing added holiday bonuses to the proprietor and the towing companies.

    • 0 avatar

      Over confidently driven AWD/4WD cars will fill a ditch and body shop all day long when the snow flies.  Check out the You-tube  video of the Seattle snow storm with Audi’s doing hockey puck impressions.

  • avatar

    BMW must be subsidizing the leases much more so than the other two.

  • avatar

    Plenty of people don’t know how to drive, snow adds a level of complexity that some are not up to.
    Lot’s of  AWD cars and trucks abandoned everywhere during our recent snow event. Every brand and model.
    IMHO the best BMW sedan in the snow is a Mini Cooper S with Bridgestone blizzaks , great fun as long as the snow is not too deep and be careful not to get “high sided”.

  • avatar

    Daimler (Mercedes Benz) will pass BMW in 2011 “come heck or highwater”..

  • avatar

    They build build good cars. The 135i is basically its own market, compact RWD sport coupe, the 3 is still the 3 and remains the top, the 5 is newly redesigned as is the X3. The X6 is just a monster but strangely appealing to some people, I don’t know about the 7 and X5. 

  • avatar

    I haven’t seen track lap times for the M3 vs. RS5. I have seen them for the S4 and 335i though, and guess what, the BMW ain’t faster on a track in the dry. It’s way slower. AWD can actually help you on a dry race track, because you can get the power down much sooner coming out of a corner.
    It’s the same reason why the Porsche C4S is faster than the CS. As fun? Maybe not. Faster on a track? Yep.

  • avatar

    Germans know that You can buy Audi technology and interiors with much lower price, hence the huge success of Skoda in Germany. Audi is taking beating basically in all the tests made by German car magazines when compared to BMW. Last one I read was AutoBild – X3 vs Q5. Conclusion was that Q5 is a good car, but X3 in better in every aspect :) Basically the whole German market knows that.

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