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

In 2014, German premium carmakers Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Porsche and Volkswagen had again record sales in China and worldwide during the first half of the year.

Audi TT quattro sport concept shown at the Geneva Auto Show 2014.

The first half-year of 2014 saw German luxury and premium car brands increase sales worldwide with growth in China once again contributing the most. For the first time ever in the first six months of a year, VW sold more than 3 million cars worldwide while the BMW Group broke the million-car mark during the first semester of 2014. Mercedes-Benz and Audi both enjoyed double-digit increases in sales worldwide. Mercedes-Benz sales in China were up by more than a third while BMW increased Chinese sales by a quarter. For the first time ever, the five top German car marques sold more than two million cars in China in a six months period to take a market share of more than 20% of the world’s largest passenger vehicle market.

German Luxury Car Sales Worldwide and in China in 2014 (First Half)

Car sales of premium German car marques worldwide and in China during the first six months of 2014 were as follows:

ManufacturerWorld HY 2014World HY 2013% ChangeChina HY 2014China HY 2013% Change
BMW Group1’020’211954’5216.9225’035182’80023.1

Statistics and geographic definitions as supplied by the manufacturers.

Mercedes-Benz – Record Sales in China and Worldwide in 2014 (Half Year)

Mercedes-Benz had another record first semester in 2014 with worldwide car sales increasing by 12,7% to 783,520 Mercedes-Benz cars – the strongest growth of the five German luxury car brands. Sales of Smart cars, which will have a model change at the end of the year, declined by 9.7% to 46,816 deliveries.

In China, where Mercedes-Benz had struggled in recent years compared to other German carmakers, sales increased by 37.5% to 135,972 deliveries between January and June 2014. China has now overtaken Germany to become the second-most important single-country car market for Mercedes-Benz cars.

Sales in Japan increased by 13% to 27,306 deliveries leaving Mercedes-Benz as the top-selling luxury car brand in Japan.

The USA remained the most important market for Mercedes-Benz cars. Mercedes sales in the USA have increased by 6.8% to 151,624 deliveries in the first semester of 2014.

In Europe, Mercedes saw an increase of 7.4% in sales to 352,198 cars for the first half of 2014. Sales in Germany were flat (0.7%) but at 125,215 Germany is the third most important country for Mercedes-Benz sales.

Audi – Record 2014 Half Year in China and Worldwide

Audi had another record half year with worldwide car sales increasing by 11.4% to 869,350 deliveries between January and June 2014. Audi had better sales in all major markets of the world.

China remained the most important country by far for Audi with Audi being the strongest-selling luxury car brand in the world’s largest car market. Audi sales increased 17.8% in China to 268,666 deliveries during the first half of 2014.

Audi sales in Europe grew by 6.9% to 410,050 deliveries during the first semester of 2014 leaving Europe the single most important region for Audi. Germany remained the second most important single-country market for Audi. Deliveries in Germany increased by 9.1% to 140,000 cars – sales in China were almost two-and-a-half times more.

The USA remained the third most important market for Audi with 84,349 deliveries (+13.6) just ahead of the UK with 83,357 (+12.6%) new registrations.

Porsche – Record Sales in 2014 (First Half)

Porsche also had record sales during the first half of 2014 when worldwide deliveries increased by 7.6% to 87,803 cars. Worryingly for Porsche’s reputation as a sports car manufacturer – rather than for its bottom line – the most popular model was the large SUV Cayenne (37,200) with the second most popular car the 911 (15,615 deliveries). The introduction of the smaller Macan SUV may skew the numbers even further away from sports cars, which is a shrinking niche worldwide.

In China, Porsche sales grew only 8% during the first half of 2014 to 19,785 deliveries. The increase in sales was far lower than other German carmakers and left China as the second most-important single-country car market for Porsche.

The USA remains the most important car market for Porsche. Porsche deliveries during the first six months of 2014 were up 7.6% to 22,919 cars in the US.

In Europe, Porsche sales grew by a healthy 13.9% during the first semester of 2014 to 29,837 cars. In Germany, sales increased by 7.5% – well above the 2.4% of the broader German market – to 12,283 Porsche deliveries.

BMW Group – Record Million Cars Sold in the First Half of 2014

The BMW Group broke the million-car mark for the first time in the first half of a year in 2014. During the first six months of 2014, the BMW Group sold 1,020,211 cars (+6.9&) including 886,347 BMW-branded cars (+10.2%) and 131,896 Mini-branded cars (-11.4%). Rolls Royce car sales increased by a third to a record 1,968 limousines (+33.4%).

In China, the single most important market for BMW, BMW Group sales increased by 23.1% to 225,035 deliveries. BMW is reportedly earning more than a third of its profits in China alone. BMW broke the 200,000 car-mark in China and grew faster than Audi but slower than Mercedes, which is still lagging behind its Bavarian competitors.

In Japan, BMW-branded car sales increased by 7.6% to 22,468 deliveries. This allowed BMW to moved ahead of Lexus in Japan.

In the USA, the BMW Group’s second most important market, deliveries increased by 5.1% to 181,534 cars. In Europe, BMW Group sales during the first half of 2014 increased by a more modest 2.1% to 445,808 cars – here the model change of the main Mini car is weighing heavier against sales than in other parts of the world.

Volkswagen – Record Three Million Cars Sold in 2014 (First Half)

Volkswagen sold more than three million cars worldwide for the first time during the first half of a year in 2014. However, compared to the other German carmakers, VW-branded deliveries increased by a more modest 3.8% to 3,07 million cars sold.

In China, Volkswagen sales grew by 18.5% to 1,39 million deliveries. In Japan, VW remained the strongest imported car brand selling 35,534 cars (+8.2%) from January to June 2014.

In Europe, Volkswagen sales grew by a more modest 2.4% to 864,100 deliveries. In Germany, Volkswagen sales were flat (+0.8%) at 285,700 cars.

Volkswagen struggled in the Americas during the first six months of 2014. In the USA, sales were 13.4% down to 179,100 cars. In Brazil, sales were down 16.7% to 255,700 deliveries.

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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.