Despite woes in Europe, German luxury carmakers remain world class. BMW, Audi, and Daimler sold a total of 4.72 million cars, more than ever before.
BMW especially registered strong growth, boosting sales to 1.85 million cars, up 11.6 percent compared to 2011. “We achieved record sales and extended our lead in the premium segment,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of marketing and distribution.
BMW did especially well in China, selling 296,000 cars, 38 percent more cars than in 2011. Robertson said that “the main reasons for BMW’s success are our attractive and innovative cars, the strength of our premium brand and the balanced distribution model across all continents.”
Audi sold even more cars in China, selling 370,000 units, up 31 percent. In total the VW subsidiary sold 1.45 million cars worldwide, up 11.7 percent.
We achieved record sales and extended our lead in the premium segment.
—Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of marketing
Only Daimler with its flagship Mercedes brand could not match its peers in China. Its sales grew only 1.5 percent to 196,000 cars. Industry experts estimate that total car sales in China could surpass 20 million units in 2013, making this a major area for needed improvement for Daimler. The company announced plans to install a special director responsible for China and to merge two separate distribution channels.
Daimler did well in the U.S. market though, where it managed to increase sales by 12 percent.
Overall, German companies are benefitting from their investments in China and the United States to make up for lost sales in Europe. German companies also regularly top rankings for innovation and tend to spend much more on research and development than their competitors from Southern Europe and the United States.
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