2019 International: German Luxury Car Sales Worldwide and in China

In 2019, German luxury car brands Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche had record sales worldwide and in China. Audi and Volkswagen had strong sales too.

Mercedes Benz C Class 2019 International: German Luxury Car Sales Worldwide and in China

In full-year 2019, German luxury carmakers and premium brands had strong sales and gained market share in several major markets. Mercedes-Benz and BMW both had their ninth consecutive record year in 2019. Porsche gained the most in 2019 with record deliveries 10% higher than a year ago. Volkswagen and Audi sales were also higher. German luxury car brands mostly outperformed the markets in major countries with all gaining market share in China and the USA were the broader new car markets were weaker in 2019.

German Luxury Car Sales Worldwide by Brand in 2019 (Full Year)

German premium car marques reported worldwide deliveries for 2019 as follows:

Worldwide:20192018201718/19 %
BMW (Brand)2,168,5162,125,0262,088,2832.0
Mercedes Benz2,339,5622,310,1852,289,3441.3

Note: Except where explicitly stated otherwise, all figures in this article refer to deliveries as reported by the manufacturers. There may be significant differences with actual sales and registrations within the same period.

All major German car brands increased deliveries worldwide despite most major international car markets being weaker in 2019. VW remained by far the largest German carmaker but Mercedes-Benz was the leading luxury car brand. Porsche gained the most in 2019 with worldwide sales up by ten percent in 2019.

Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz had their ninth consecutive record year in 2019 with car sales up worldwide. Audi sales also started to recover after a difficult 2018.

For all manufacturers, SUVs are increasingly important for both sales and earning. The next challenge will be electric cars. Only Volkswagen and BMW have thus far produced battery-only electric cars in any significant numbers but all have introduced limited-run expensive electric vehicles and an increasing variety of electrified hybrids.

Luxury Car Sales in China in 2019 (Full Year)

Car sales by German luxury carmakers in mainland China and Hong Kong were as follows in 2019:

In China:20192018201718/19 %
BMW Group723,680639,953594,38813.1
Mercedes Benz693,443652,996587,8686.2

The Chinese new car market contracted by a tenth in 2019 but German car brands performed well and gained market share as well as increasing volume. Volkswagen was the largest car brand in China in 2019 and sales are again approaching the peak of 2017.

Audi, the BMW Group, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche all had record sales in China in 2019. The BMW Group increased sales the most but all continued to gain market share. Audi was long the leading luxury car brand in China but has now been surpassed by Mercedes Benz and probably BMW too – BMW did not publish separate figures for the BMW and Mini brands in China.

China is not only the largest single-country car market in the world but disproportionally important to German premium car brands. China accounts for 50% of Volkswagen’s worldwide sales, 37% for Audi, and 30% for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche.

Germany Luxury Car Brand Sales in the USA in 2019

The German premium car brands reported sales as follows for the USA in 2019:

In the USA:20192018201718/19 %
BMW (Brand)324,826311,014305,6851.8
Mercedes Benz316,094315,959337,2460.0

Although China has surpassed the USA as the most important market for German luxury cars, the American market still remains very important to German carmakers. Large SUVs rather than luxury saloons were the more popular car choice in the USA in 2019.

The American new car market was mostly flat in 2019 and slightly negative over the entire calendar year but still at relatively high levels. German carmakers captured a bigger market share but only Porsche made significant gains, largely due to the popularity of the Macan and Cayenne rather than sports cars.

German Premium Brand Sales in Germany in 2019

German premium brand deliveries in Germany in 2019 were as follows:

In Germany20192018201718/19 %
BMW (Group)331,370319,134311,0713.8
Mercedes Benz318,353303,862303,5284.8

The increase in luxury car deliveries in Germany was mainly in line with the 5% growth of the overall new car market. Porsche was the noticeable exception although it is worth noting that Porsche performed spectacularly badly the final four months of 2018 when it was temporarily unable to have cars registered due to the changes brought in by the WLTP regulations.

A comparison with actual new passenger vehicle registrations in Germany in 2019 also indicates the difference between the deliveries reported by manufacturers and the cars actually registered during the year. In the case of Volkswagen, for example, registrations in Germany in 2019 were nearly 100,000 cars more than deliveries. For other brands, the differences were less extreme.

Global Worldwide Car Sales Statistics:

Global Worldwide Car Sales by Brand in 2020 (Full Year)

→→ Latest global sales by brands

Global worldwide car sales by brand in 2020 (Full Year):

“Sales” as reported by brands generally refer to deliveries and not necessarily sales to the customer and final registration. Terms and definitions may vary.

Global Worldwide Car Sales by Brand in 2019 (Full Year)