The BMW Group set a company record for global vehicle sales for the sixth straight year, and says that it is still the world's leading premium-car company—but Mercedes-Benz takes issue with that claim. In its best year ever, the BMW Group sold 2,367,603 BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce vehicles in 2016. BMW, Mini, and BMW Motorrad all set records and the BMW Group total was up 5.3% from the previous year.
“As our model line-up has expanded, so have our sales, making 2016 our most successful year ever,” said Dr. Ian Robertson, Member of the BMW AG Board of Management for Sales and Marketing BMW. Speaking at the North America International Motor Show in Detroit, Robertson added, “Despite headwinds in some markets, our policy of balanced global sales has paid off, as we increased our worldwide sales month by month. The sales development of our electrified vehicles has been particularly positive, with more than 62,000 delivered in 2016. I am confident we can continue this momentum and build on our course of profitable, sustainable growth into 2017."
The BMW brand set a record by itself, delivering 2,003,359 vehicles, up 5.2 percent from 2015. About a third of those—644,993—were X vehicles, which represented a massive 22.3 percent increase for the year. The 7 Series experienced sales of 61,514, up 69.2 percent from last year, while the BMW 2 Series saw 196,183 cars go out the door, constituting a 24.8 percent increase over 2015.
More than 62,000 BMW i and iPerformance plug-ins went to new owners in 2016. The BMW Group now has nine electrified vehicles in its catalog and is shooting for 100,000 sales in 2017.
Mini did very well in 2016, moving 360,233 of the adorable little monsters, an increase of 6.5 percent. With the new Mini Countryman coming to market, 2017 prospects look good as well.
“These record results show that Mini is on the right track, with our new Cabrio and Clubman models being the strongest growth drivers,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW AG Board of Management member for Mini, BMW Motorrad, and Rolls-Royce. “Now in early 2017, we will be introducing the new Mini Countryman to market, one of the brand’s most important models, with the electrified version coming in the summer. That will complete the revision of the Mini line-up and I am confident we will see sales grow even further over the next 12 months."
Under tough conditions in the ultra-luxury segment, Rolls-Royce had its second-best year in the company's 113-year history. A total of 4,011 Rolls-Royce cars were delivered to customers around the world. The Wraith and Ghost continued to do well, while the Phantom, in its final year of production, enjoyed continued demand. The company is looking forward to the Phantom's successor.
While BMW makes a case that it is still the world's leading premium car company, 2016 sales figures from Mercedes-Benz tell a slightly different story, at least as far as numbers went. Mercedes-Benz sold 2,083,888 vehicles last year, which would beat BMW by about 80,000 units. This would mark the first time since 2005 that Mercedes-Benz sold more vehicles in a year than BMW.
If sales of all BMW Group cars including BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce are compared to all Mercedes-Benz cars including Mercedes-Benz and Smart cars, then the BMW Group comes out on top 2,367,603 to 2,228,367. However, neither the Mini or the Smart Car is considered premium when it comes to luxury car sales bragging rights.—Scott Blazey
[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]