2014 (Full Year) China and Worldwide German Luxury Car Sales

BMW Pininfarina Geneva Auto Show 2014In 2014, German luxury carmakers and premium brands Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen had record vehicle sales worldwide and in China. Once again, China contributed most to the growth in global car sales although the Chinese car market expanded slower in 2014 than in preceding years. China is the most important single-country market for Volkswagen, Audi and BMW and second only to the USA for Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

China and Worldwide Car Sales of German Premium Brands in 2014

In 2014, car sales by German premium and luxury car manufacturers were as follows in China and globally:

Manufacturer Car Sales in China 2014 % Change Car Sales Worldwide 2014 % Change
Volkswagen 2,760,000 10 6,120,000 1.7
Audi 578,932 17.7 1,741,100 10.5
BMW Group 455,979 16.7 2,117,965 7.9
Mercedes-Benz 281,588 29.1 1,650,010 12.9
Porsche 46,931 25.4 189,849 17.1
Statistics and definitions as per individual car manufacturers. BMW Group figures include BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce cars.

According to the VDA, car production in Germany in 2014 increased to 5,623,300 (+3%) cars of which 4,299,600 (+2%) were exported. Many of the “German” cars sold worldwide are produced elsewhere, especially in China.

Porsche – Record Sales in 2014 in China and Worldwide

VW-owned Porsche increased worldwide car sales in 2014 by 17% to a record 189,849 deliveries – 28,000 cars more than in 2013. This was the fourth consecutive record year for Porsche. In December 2014, Porsche sold 20,644 cars worldwide – the first time the brand delivered more than 20,000 cars in a single calendar month.

Porsche enjoyed sales growth in all major regions of the world. The USA remained Porsche’s single most important country market. Sales in the US increased in 2014 by 11.1% to 47,007 deliveries.

Growth was again the strongest in China where an increase of 25% allowed Porsche to sell 46,931 cars in 2014. China is still Porsche’s second most-important market but in 2014 only 76 cars behind the USA.

In Europe, Porsche sales increased by 19.1% to 60,805 deliveries with 23,841 cars (+15.5%) sold in Germany in 2014.

Porsche sold 45,000 of the new Macan SUV worldwide claiming three-quarters of these buyers as new customers for the brand. Sales of the iconic 911 increased to 30,000 deliveries.

Mercedes-Benz – Record Sales in China and Worldwide in 2014

In 2104, Mercedes-Benz had it fourth consecutive record year with worldwide sales increasing by 12.9% to 1,650,010 deliveries. Of the top German carmakers, only Porsche enjoyed faster growth. In December 2014, Mercedes-Benz sold 163,171 cars – its highest single month total ever.

In Europe, Mercedes-Benz sales increased in 2014 by 9.4% to 722,732 cars. Deliveries in Germany increased by 2.3% to 261,050 cars and in the UK, the second-most important European country for Mercedes, by 14.6% to 123,480 cars.

The USA remained the most important single-country market for Mercedes-Benz. Sales in the US increased by 5.7% in 2014 with 330,391 deliveries.

In China, Mercedes-Benz enjoyed the strongest growth of the German luxury carmakers with sales increasing by 29.1% to 281,588 deliveries. In China, Mercedes is still struggling to catch up with Audi and BMW but in 2014, China overtook Germany as the second most-important market for Mercedes-Benz car sales.

In the larger Asia-Pacific region, Mercedes-Benz car sales increased by 25.7% to 491,321 deliveries. In Japan, sales increased by 14.4% to a new record 60,663 cars sold in 2014.

Audi – Record Sales in China and Worldwide in 2014

Audi had another record year in 2014 and managed to increase sales by over 100,000 cars for the fifth year in a row. Worldwide, Audi sold 1,741,100 cars – an increase of 10.5%. Audi sold fewer than a million cars per year as recent as 2009. Audi claims to have increased car sales in 50 countries in 2014.

In 2014, China remained by far the most important single-country market for Audi. Sales increased by 17.7% to 578,932 cars – the first time Audi has sold more than half a million cars in China, or any other country for that matter, in a single year. In 2014, Audi sold nearly 300,000 more cars in China than Mercedes-Benz did and over 120,000 more than BMW.

Europe remained the most important region for Audi with sales increasing by 4.2% to 732,278 deliveries. Audi car sales increased in Germany – its second largest market – by 2.2% to 255,582 vehicles and in the UK – Audi’s fourth largest market – by 11.8% to 158,829 cars.

In 2014, the USA remained Audi’s third largest market. Sales increased by 15.4% to 182,011 vehicles – around 150,000 behind Mercedes-Benz. However, Audi sales in the USA increased in December 2014 for the 48th consecutive month.

BMW – Record Sales in China and Worldwide in 2014

The BMW Group also had a record year in 2014. Sales of BMW-branded cars increased by 9.5% to a record 1,811,719 deliveries. Mini sales were down 0.9% from the record 2013 to 302,183 deliveries in 2014. The new Mini launched during the year has been selling well towards the end of 2014.

Rolls Royce had its fifth consecutive record year with sales increasing by 11.9% to 4,063 global deliveries – the highest number in the luxury brand’s 111-year history.

Global deliveries of BMW i vehicles totaled 17,800 in 2014: 16,052 BMW i3 and 1,741 BMW i8 cars.

In China, deliveries of BMW and Mini cars increased by 16.7% to 455,979 cars in 2014. China, where BMW experienced 45% compound annual growth since 2007, is by far the most important single-country market for BMW.

The USA is the second largest market for the BMW Group. In 2014, sales here increased by 5.3% to 395,850 cars.

BMW claims to have increased sales in 2014 in all European markets. Europe remained the most important region for the BMW Group – car deliveries increased by 6.4% to 858,990 vehicles. In BMW’s third largest market, Germany, sales increased by 1.7% to 273,433 deliveries and in its fourth largest market, the UK, sales increased by 8.4% to 204,749 cars.

Volkswagen – Record 6 Million Cars Sold in 2014

Volkswagen had another record year in 2014 and sold more than six million passenger cars for the first time in its history in a single calendar year. Worldwide, deliveries of Volkswagen-branded cars increased by 1.7% to 6,120,000 vehicles. Although growth was slow in 2014, VW have doubled worldwide deliveries since 2004.

China remains by far the most important country for Volkswagen. VW sales in China in 2014 increased by 10% to 2.76 million deliveries.

In 2014, VW sales in Europe increased by 2.8% to 1.68 million deliveries including 858,300 (+5.7%) in Western Europe, excluding Germany. In Germany, VW sales increased by 3.3% to 578,400 cars sold in 2014. In Russia, VW sales were down 18% to 128,100 cars.

Volkswagen also struggled in the Americas. In North America, VW deliveries were down 5.7% to 586,700 cars with sales in the expanding USA car market down 10% to 367,000 cars. In South America, sales were down 17.6% to 662,600 deliveries of which 541,700 (-13.2%) were in Brazil.

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.