Mercedes-Benz beats BMW to win global luxury car sales crown for 2016

by Autocar Pro News Desk Jan 10, 2017


2016 has been a record sales year for luxury car manufacturers for Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi as well as the Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover. All four carmakers have recorded their best-ever sales in a calendar year.

The German triumvirate of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi has been battling for the No. 1 position in global luxury car sales, a position BMW had held for long since 2005. With 2016 numbers having been revealed by the three arch rivals, Mercedes-Benz has driven into leadership position, thanks to expansion in its product portfolio.

Mercedes-Benz notched its best-ever sales and posted double-digit growth in Europe and high growth in APAC. Surging sales in China, the world’s largest automobile market, also helped maintain the momentum throughout the year. 

The Stuttgart-based company grew at a double-digit rate in 2016 and for the first time sold more than two million vehicles – 2,083,888 – in one year worldwide (+11.3%). In 2016, Mercedes-Benz recorded the most new-car registrations in many countries, such as in Germany and in the USA. Mercedes-AMG set a new record last year with sales of approximately 100,000 vehicles (+44.1%). 2016, the smart brand sold more cars than ever before in one year (144,479 units, +21%).

This means that not only did Mercedes-Benz grow faster worldwide than its German competitors, but also that it sold the most cars in the premium segment. In comparison, BMW sold a total of 2,003,359 units (+5.2%) and Audi sold 1,871,350 units (+3.8%) in 2016. In full-year 2016, Mercedes-Benz was the best-selling premium brand for example in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, the USA and Canada.

The Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover reported its best ever full-year global sales in 2016, selling 583,313 vehicles, up 20% on 2015 and posting record sales in the UK, North America and Europe. Volvo Cars too reported record sales in 2016, increasing 6.2 percent to 534,332 cars. Further, General Motors' premium brand Cadillac posted its highest-ever sales since 1986.


Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “2016 was the most successful year for Mercedes-Benz in the history of the company, and the sixth record year in succession. With new cars with pioneering design that inspire our customers and with particularly strong growth, above all in China and Europe, we have climbed to the top of the premium segment. And we are accelerating further – with new technologies, products and services.”

“Our growth strategy is taking effect. Since 2013, Mercedes-Benz has grown every year at a double-digit rate. Mercedes-Benz is now the premium brand with the strongest unit sales; we have achieved our goal four years earlier than we aimed for,” said Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, so far responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales and since January 1, 2017 responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

The year 2016 ended for Mercedes-Benz with the highest-ever unit sales in a December, which was also the 46th consecutive record month (190,269 units, +6.8%), and with the best quarter of all time (545,967 units, +10.2%).

Also read: Mercedes-Benz India sales down 2.04% in 2016

comments powered by Disqus