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2016 (Q3) China and Worldwide German Luxury Car Sales

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Mercedes Benz E Class Geneva 2016

September 2016: Record sales worldwide and in China for German luxury and premium car brands Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi and Porsche. Volkswagen recovers. During the first three quarters of 2016, Mercedes Benz was the best-selling German luxury car brand worldwide with sales up by 12%. In China, Mercedes Benz sales were up nearly a third to catch up with market leaders Audi and BMW. Audi, BMW and Porsche also had a record start to the year but sales increased by more moderate numbers. Volkswagen sales worldwide are improving (+0.6%) mostly due to a recovery in China and despite continued weakness in the Americas.

Car Sales in China and Worldwide by German Premium Car Bands in 2016 (Q1-3)

German luxury and premium car marques reported sales as following in China and worldwide during the first nine months of 2016:

Manufacturer

Car sales in China Q1-3/2016

% Change

Car Sales Worldwide Q1-3/2016

% Change

VW Group*

2,853,900

10.7

7,609,400

2.4

Volkswagen

2,133,100

11.4

4,374,900

0.6

Audi

440,233

6.2

1,408,800

4.5

BMW**

401,209

17

1,479,936

6

Mercedes Benz

344,791

29.5

1,537,921

11.7

Porsche

49,229

11

178,314

3

*Volkswagen Group includes Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Skoda, Seat, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, MAN, Scandia.
**BMW figures for China includes Mini.
Statistics and definitions as per individual car manufacturers.

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Mercedes Benz – Record Sales in China and Worldwide

For the second consecutive year, Mercedes Benz sales worldwide grew by double-digit percentages. During the first nine months of 2016, Mercedes Benz sales worldwide increased by 11.7% to 1,537,921 deliveries to leapfrog both Audi and BMW to become the clear best-selling German luxury car brand in the world.

In September 2016, Mercedes Benz delivered 211,286 cars – its highest monthly figure ever. Deliveries from July to September 2016 were 531,302 cars (+11.2%) – the highest quarterly figure ever.

Mercedes Benz sales in China increased by nearly a third to 344,791 cars. Mercedes Benz has long lagged behind Audi and BMW in China but is catching up fast. During the first nine months of 2014, Mercedes Benz sold only 203,485 cars in China – less than half Audi did in the same period.

In the USA, the second largest market for Mercedes Benz, sales contracted by 0.3% to 290,218 cars during the first three quarters of 2016. In Europe, sales were up 12.7% to 669,257 cars of which 218,469 (+8.6%) were sold in Germany.

Smart sales worldwide, not included in the figures above, increased by 20.1% to 105,695 deliveries. The two millionth smart was produced in September 2016 – almost two decades after the smart marque was launched in 1998.

BMW – Record Sales in China and Worldwide in 2016 (Q1-3)

Sales of the BMW Group also increased to new record levels worldwide and in China. BMW Group (BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce) sales worldwide during the first nine months of 2016 increased by 6.2% to 1,746,638 cars consisting of 1,479,938 BMWs (+6.2%), 264,077 Minis (+7.2), and 2,625 Rolls Royce cars (+0.8%).

In China, BMW Group sales increased by 17% to a new record 401,209 BMW and Mini cars delivered during the first nine months of 2016. China is by far the most important single-country market for BMW with BMW closing the gap to Audi in this important market. Deliveries in the whole Asia region increased by 9% to 548,014 cars.

Europe remained the most important region for the BMW Group with 806,917 cars (+10.4%) sold during the first three quarters of 2016. In the Americas, sales were down 6.5% to 337,079 cars.

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During the first nine months of 2016, BMW delivered more than 40,000 of its BMW i cars worldwide. In September 2016, BMW delivered 7,000 electric cars worldwide.

Volkswagen Group Sales in China and Worldwide in 2016 (Q1-3)

Worldwide sales of the Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Skoda, Seat, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, MAN, Scandia) increased slightly during the first three quarters of 2016. Worldwide, Volkswagen Group sales were up 2.4% to 7,609,400 cars – helped mostly by the strong recovery of sales in China – up 10.7% to 2,853,900 cars.

Worldwide sales of the larger passenger car marques in the Volkswagen Group were as follows during the first nine months of 2016: Audi: 1,408,800 (+4.5%), Porsche: 178,300 (+3%), Seat: 312,900 (+1.5%), Skoda: 840,900 (+6.2%), Volkswagen: 4,374,900 (+0.6%). The Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles unit showed stronger growth: +9.1% to 350,800 deliveries.

Porsche – Record Sales in China and Worldwide in 2016 (Q3)

Porsche sales worldwide and in China increased to new record levels during the first three quarters of 2016. Worldwide, Porsche sales were up by 3% to 178,314 deliveries compared to 173,085 during the first nine months of 2015. The Macan with 71,086 deliveries worldwide was the most popular Porsche model while the 718 Boxster with 10,661 deliveries also contributed to the strong growth.

China was again the largest and fastest growing single-country market for Porsche during the first three quarters of 2016. Thus far in 2016, Porsche sales in China increased by 11% to 49,229 cars.

Sales in the Americas increased by a more modest 3% to 48,581 cars. In the USA, Porsche sales were up by 2% to 40,246 cars.

Europe remained the most important region for Porsche but sales increased only moderately by 1% to 58,678 deliveries during the first three quarters of 2016. In Germany, sales contracted by 0.5% to 22,198 cars.

Audi – Record Deliveries Worldwide and in China in 2016 (Q1-3)

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Audi continued to set new record sales worldwide and in China despite the problems at Volkswagen. Audi sales worldwide increased by 4.5% during the first nine months of 2016 to 1,408,800 cars.

Audi remained the largest German luxury car brand in China but sales increased by “only” 6.2% during the first nine months of 2016 to 440,233 cars. The advantage over BMW and Mercedes in China is shrinking. During the same nine months, Audi outsold Mercedes Benz in China by around 200,000 cars in both 2014 and 2013.

In Europe, Audi sales increased by 7.3% to 657,100 cars during the first three quarters of 2016. In Germany, sales were up 10.8% to 230.890 cars.

In the USA, Audi sales increased by 3.2% to 152,179 cars.

Volkswagen – Strong Recovery in China in 2016 (Q1-3)

Sales of Volkswagen branded cars increased slightly by 0.6% to 4,374,900 cars worldwide during the first nine months of 2016 – an increase of only 25,000 cars over the first three quarters of 2015.

Volkswagen was helped by a strong recovery in China, where sales of smaller engine cars have enjoyed tax benefits this year. In China, Volkswagen sales increased by 11.4% to 2,133,100 cars during the first nine months of 2016. VW sales in China improved dramatically in recent months – up by more than 20% in both August and September.

In Europe, Volkswagen sales were down 0.8% to 1,288,400 cars despite a growing market. In Germany, VW lost more than a percentage market share with deliveries down 3.7% to 431,800 cars.

The Americas continue to weight heavily on Volkswagen sales. In North America, sales were down 4.4% during the first nine months of 2016. In the USA, Volkswagen sales slumped by 12.5% to 231,300 deliveries. VW’s diesel emission scandal broke in September 2015. In contrast, Volkswagen experienced double-digits growth in the Mexican market in recent months.

Market conditions in South America also remained very negative with VW sales down 30.2% to 254,200 deliveries. The Brazilian market continued to contract: VW sales were down 38.5% to 164,400 cars – 100,000 cars less than in 2015, which was already 130,000 cars down on the first three quarters of 2014.

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