It’s been a tough year for the automotive industry in general, but BMW seems to have weathered the storm very well – at least in the United States, where the company has officially overtaken arch-rival (and now bedfellow) Mercedes-Benz to become the top-selling premium brand.
Full-year numbers show just how much of a success the past twelve months have been for Munich. It sold a total of 324,826 vehicles in 2019, up 4.4% from the 311,014 that rolled off dealer lots in 2018, buoyed by an increased availability of SUVs like the X3, X5 and the new X7. The new G20 3 Series has also become the bestselling premium sedan since it was launched in the US last February. Looks like it was right.
“We’ve talked a lot over the course of the past two years about having the right product mix for the market, and we believe that with all of our recent launches, we have just that,” said BMW of North America president and CEO Bernhard Kuhnt. “BMW has the youngest and most exciting product portfolio in the segment.”
As for Mercedes, the figures paint a slightly less rosy picture. Discounting commercial vans like the Sprinter and Metris (Vito to you and me), Stuttgart sold 316,094 vehicles last year, an increase of just 135 units compared to 315,959 in 2018. This, despite introducing the A-Class and GLB to the market for the first time, along with launching heavy hitters like the new GLE and GLS.
Lexus continued its run in third place in the standings with 298,114 vehicles sold in 2019, down 0.1% compared to 298,310 in 2018. Audi was next at 224,111 units (up 0.4%), followed by Acura (157,385 units) and Cadillac (156,246 units).