In 2015, German luxury carmakers Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi had record sales worldwide and in China. Volkswagen’s international sales were down for the first time in a decade. In 2015, China became the most-important single-country market for Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, as it has been for some time for Volkswagen, Audi and BMW. Porsche increased worldwide sales by nearly a fifth while Mercedes-Benz sales in China was up by a third in 2015.
Worldwide and Chinese Car Sales of Germany Carmakers
In 2015, sales by German premium and luxury car manufacturers were as follows in China and worldwide:
|Manufacturer||Car sales in China FY 2015||% Change||Car Sales Worldwide FY 2015||% Change|
|Volkswagen Group *||3,548,600||-3.4||9,930,600||-2|
|*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.|
Mercedes-Benz – Record Sales Worldwide and in China in 2015
In 2015, Mercedes-Benz had its fifth consecutive record year with worldwide deliveries in creasing by 13.4% to 1,871,511 cars. In 2015, Mercedes-Benz outsold both Audi and narrowly failed to catch up with BMW as the largest Germany producer of luxury and premium brand cars.
In 2015, for the first time ever in a calendar year, China was the most-important single-country market for Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz sales in China increased by 32.6% to a record 373,459 cars. In China, Mercedes-Benz is still around 200,000 cars behind leader Audi but nearly on par with BMW. Important for Mercedes-Benz’s bottom line, a third of all S-Class cars are now sold in China with deliveries of the Mercedes-Maybach in China around 500 cars per month.
In Japan, Mercedes-Benz overtook Volkswagen to become the tenth largest vehicle producer and the top-selling foreign car brand in 2015. Mercedes-Benz sales were up 7.1% to 64,989 cars.
The USA slipped from Mercedes-Benz top market to second largest in 2015. Sales increased by 3.8% to 343,088 deliveries – second to BMW but significantly ahead of Audi.
In Germany, Mercedes-Benz remained the second best-selling car brand in 2015 despite below market average sales increases of 4.7% to 273,435 deliveries.
Mercedes-Benz’s Smart brand – not included in other figures above – increased worldwide sales by 32.9% to 119,398 deliveries. In various major European markets including Germany, France and the UK, Smart sales almost doubled in 2015.
BMW – Record Sales in China and Worldwide in 2015
2015 was also the fifth consecutive record year for BMW with its highest sales ever worldwide and in China. Worldwide sales of the BMW Group increased by 6.1% to 2,247,485 vehicles including 1,905,234(+5.2%) BMW-branded cars, 338,466 (+12%) Minis and 3785 (-6.8%) Rolls Royce cars.
China remained the most-important market for BMW. BMW Group sales increased by 4.2% to 463,736 BMW and Mini cars. Here BMW narrowed the gap to market leader Audi but BMW sales in China increased by only around 8,000 cars – less than a tenth of the sales increase of Mercedes-Benz.
In the USA, the BMW Group’s second largest market, sales were relatively flat and increased by only 2.2% to 404,537 deliveries.
In Europe, BMW and Mini sales were just shy of the million-car mark at 999,669 deliveries (+9.4%).
Worldwide, BMW sold almost 30,000 i-cars: 24,057 BMW i3 models and 5,456 BMW i8 cars.
Volkswagen Group Worldwide and Chinese Sales in 2015
In 2015, the Volkswagen Group (including brands Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Porsche, MAN, and Skandia) delivered 9,930,600 cars worldwide – a 2% contraction from the just over 10.1 million cars delivered in 2014.
The Volkswagen Group sales were dragged down by the Volkswagen brand that sold nearly 5% fewer cars worldwide in 2015 than a year ago. In contrast, Audi and Porsche had their best years ever. Sales of Skoda (1,055,500 / +1.8%) and Seat (400,000 / +2.4%) were relatively flat while the commercial vehicle brands all had weaker sales in 2015.
The Volkswagen Group was particularly hard-hit by weaker sales in South America. In Brazil alone, the Volkswagen Group saw sales down 38% or 240,000 cars. In China, the combined losses of all brands in the VW Group were 3.4% or over 125,000 cars.
The combined brands of the VW Group sold 3,548,600 cars (-3.4%) in China, 1,289,100 cars (+4%) in Germany, 607,100 cars (+1.2%) in the USA and 389,900 (-38.1%) in Brazil.
Porsche – Record Sales Worldwide and in China in 2015
Porsche also had its fifth consecutive record year in 2015 with worldwide deliveries up by 18.6% to 225,100 cars – an increase of over 35,000 cars and the first time Porsche had sold more than 200,000 cars in a single calendar year.
In 2015, China replaced the USA as Porsche’s most-important single-country market. Porsche sales in China increased by 24% to 58,009 deliveries – only Mercedes-Benz improved more.
In the USA, now Porsche’s second largest market, sales increased by 10% to 51,756 cars.
In Germany, Porsche’s third largest market, sales were up by 21% to 28,953 cars.
Deliveries in Europe, including Germany, were also up by a strong 24% to 75,354 cars.
SUVs rather than sport cars are now the most popular Porsche models. Worldwide sales of the Macan were around 80,000 and the larger Cayenne 73,000. Of the iconic 911, Porsche sold around 32,000. In Germany, the 911 remained the most popular new Porsche in 2015 with 8,143 registered – around 100 more than the Macan.
Audi – Record Sales Worldwide in 2015
Audi had its best year ever in 2015 with 1,803,250 cars (+3.6%) delivered worldwide. In December 2015, Audi had its 72nd consecutive month of growth. Audi sold fewer than a million cars worldwide as recently as 2009.
China remained the most-important single-country market for Audi and although sales were down 1.4% to 570,889 cars in 2015, Audi was still comfortably ahead of its competitors in the world’s largest car market.
In Germany, Audi’s second most-important market, deliveries increased by a market-average 5.7% to 270,063 cars making Audi the third biggest carmaker in Germany after VW and Mercedes-Benz. In the UK and France, deliveries were up around 5% to 166,817 and 60,216 cars respectively.
In the USA, Audi’s third largest market, sales increased by a more impressive 11.1% but with 202,202 deliveries, Audi remained a relative small factor in the US car industry. Audi has doubled sales in the US in the past five years.
Volkswagen Brand Sales Worldwide and in China in 2015
In 2015, Volkswagen-branded car sales worldwide contracted for the first time in 11 years. In 2015, Volkswagen delivered 5,823,400 cars worldwide – down 4.8% from the record 6.1 million in 2014.
Although VW attracted many negative headline due to the emissions scandal that broke in the US and Europe in September 2015, Volkswagen’s downturn has already started much earlier in the year. VW sales were particularly hard hit by weak economies in South America and some stagnation in Chinese car sales.
China remained by far the most-important single-country market for Volkswagen in 2015. In China, VW-branded car sales were down 4.6% to 2,630,000 cars – around 130,000 fewer than in 2014.
Weakness in the Brazilian economy hit VW deliveries even harder. In Brazil, VW sold 335,600 cars in 2015 – 38% or more than 200,000 cars fewer than in 2014.
In North America, VW sales were flat but down 4.8% in the USA to 349,000 cars.
Europe remained the most-important region for Volkswagen. In 2015, VW sales in Europe increased by 1.9% to 1,713,500 cars. In Germany, VW delivered 601,000 cars to customers – a below market-average increase of 3.9%.