Berholprestige: BMW Makes Audi And Mercedes Eat Dust

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
berholprestige bmw makes audi and mercedes eat dust

Members of the media are still speculating why Audi’s R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer was sacked and replaced by Volkswagen’s engineering rock star Urlich Hackenberg. Today, the market delivered the reason: With BMW in the passing lane in China and America, global sales of the roundel brand keep rising faster than those of Audi and Mercedes.

Sales at BMW’s core brand were up 9.4 percent in June to 153,000 units, while sales at Mercedes rose 8.3 percent and Audi slowed down to 5.5 percent r growth, Reuters says.

For the half year of 2013, global sales of BMW are up 7.7 percent to 804,000 units, with Audi up 6.4 percent to 780,500 units , and Mercedes also up and 6.4 percent to 694,000 autos.

Envied by other European carmakers Germany’s three leading premium manufacturers are maintaining production in July and August to meet soaring export demand, while the rest of Europe is going on – often extended – summer vacations.

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  • E46M3_333 E46M3_333 on Jul 08, 2013

    I've never liked Audis as I've always classified them as front drive, small displacement turbo-boosted cars. A 2 liter engine in a car the size of an A5 seems wrong to me. I've owned: 1996 328is 5 speed, purchased in 1997 2003 Z4 2.5i 5 speed, leased new for 3 years 2006 330i sport premium auto, purchased new 2000 Z3 2.5 5 speed, purchased in 2007 2003 M3 convertible 6 speed, purchased in 2010 2007 X5 4.8i (still have it) purchased in 2013 2001 M roadster 5 speed (still have it) purchased in 2013 Random thoughts: BMWs have gotten worse over recent years. First Chris Bangle messed up the styling--I bought my Z4 in spite of the styling, not because of it. Then they ruined the steering. The older cars have telepathic steering; you can always tell in the wheel when the car is drifting off line; no so in the Z4 and the 330i. The run flats suck--I was stranded for several hours on a road trip because no dealers in the medium sized town I was in stocked the correct tires for the 330i, which also rode like the Flintstone-mobile on its run flats. I bought the sports package for the seats, but had to accept the low profile tires as part of the package. Now they're moving to turbo-boosted engines, and the styling continues to go down hill on recent models. I love my M Roadster and the X5, but I doubt I would buy a newer BMW. (BTW, all my BMWs have been bullet proof in terms of reliability, however I've never had more than 80K miles on any of them before moving on to something else.)

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    • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Jul 08, 2013

      @NMGOM Why do you think that turbos have to fail? I have owned numerous turbocharged, Saabs, Volvos, VWs, and Peugeots, and a FIAT, and I have never, ever had a turbo related issue. And other than a new VW TDI, all were bought WELL used. They are, in my experience, very nearly life of the car parts. I did have an '85 Saab 900T that was on its second turbo when I bought it, but that was one of the old non-watercooled ones, and it STILL went 175,000 miles. Closest thing you will ever get to a free lunch under the hood of a car. Power when you need it, economy when you don't. Use it and lose the economy of course, there is NO such thing as a free lunch. Ultimately, I have no doubt that BMW would LOVE to keep selling the n/a inline sixes. If nothing else, they are probably cheaper to make. But CAFE in the US and C02 regs in Europe make it impossible. So please direct your anger at our elected officials, not the automakers. Personally, as a long-time serial Saab turbo owner as well as BMW owner, I like them both. Different means to similar ends. The BMW six sounds far better and is smoother, but the Saab turbo had FAR more torque and got better gas mileage in a same size car. And if you have folks that aren't seeing a significant economy increase out of the 2.0T, then they have mighty heavy feet. I like the start/stop concept and would probably leave it enabled, but BMW is nice enough to make it possible to default it to off. Don't like it, have it set to off. Problem solved.

  • See 7 up See 7 up on Jul 08, 2013

    I can't buy a BMW because of the lack of a spare. Run flats are a great safety feature. They are not a replacement for a spare tire. And I won't put a spare in my trunk when smaller BMWs in the 90's had them. As for BMW handling. Its good. But given I typically "out-corner" most BMW's in my 2dr Wrangler, I don't think most people are buying them for their handling traits.

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    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Jul 12, 2013

      @krhodes1 RE: Average American driver... Especially when merging onto a freeway!!! (50mph into 65+mph traffic behind the average oblivion. *** I'm *** the one who's gonna get slammed into next week by the oncoming soccer mom in her SUV monstrosity while we're both trying to get to work! Not you! Unfortunately! Nine days out of ten, I use my ** hazards, ** instead of the turn signal, to merge, just for this reason, hoping that the extra lights will attract a little more attention from aforementioned mouth-breeder!)

  • TybeeJim TybeeJim on Jul 08, 2013

    A last note for me. All the professional pundits are now starting to say that the best BMWs are the 1 Series cars. These BMWs make a lot more sense as a driver's car and remind me of my first, and '85 325 coupe which was a damn good car in its day. And there is no dispute re sales of the 3 series, but like Porsche today, the really big sellers in the US aside from the 3s are the X3, X5 suvs which will never see an autox, track day or muddy off-roads. I'm just so weary of the wonderfulness that is BMW.

  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on Jul 08, 2013

    R&T has an interesting comparison of the E90 vs. F30 model 3-Series. Conclusion is that the E90 is the better car and that the competition is now closer to the F30 than it was before the new model. As it is, the F30 is the car BMW is now selling. I'm interested in looking at it and the A4 as my next purchase sometime next summer. Don't cry for Audi in the sales race. The new A4 is about to debut along with a new A3 in sedan form. Probably a Q3 to follow as well.

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    • TOTitan TOTitan on Jul 09, 2013

      @CelticPete Not true regarding the mexican vw plant. We have a 08 Rabbit made in wolfburg and a 12 JSW tdi made in Mexico, and much to my surprise the JSW is screwed together tighter than the Rabbit ever was.