BMW 5-Series in ChinaEnlarge Photo
Sales of BMW brand vehicles alone reached 1,655,138 units (+7.5 percent on 2012’s total of 1,540,085 units), which was also a record and enough to put BMW ahead of Audi, which sold 1,575,500 units, and Mercedes-Benz, which sold 1,461,680 units, during the same period.
Sales of MINI brand vehicles reached 305,030 units in 2013 (+1.2 percent on 2012’s total of 301,526 units), and Rolls-Royce saw its sales reach 3,630 units (+1.5 percent on 2012’s total of 3,575 units). Both of these figures were also records for the respective brands.
The BMW Group is aiming to break new records in 2014 but concedes there are prevailing headwinds in many markets, namely, its home market of Europe. Sales in Europe for the BMW Group in 2013 totaled 858,990 units, which was down 0.7 of percent on the 864,812 sold the previous year.
The big news, however, is that China is now the single biggest market for BMW Group vehicles, having surpassed the U.S. in 2013. During the past year, sales of BMW Group vehicles in China topped 390,713 units, up 19.7 percent on the 326,444 units of 2012. The past year also saw BMW launch a dedicated brand for the Chinese market, Zinoro.
BMW Group sales in the U.S. meanwhile topped out at 375,782 units, which was still a substantial 8.1 percent rise on the 347,583 units sold in 2012.
One of the main success factors in 2013 was the BMW 3-Series, which experienced a 23 percent increase in sales to 500,314 units, up from 406,752 units the previous year. The next most popular model was the 5-Series, whose sales reached 366,992 (+2.2 on 2012’s total of 359,016 units), followed by the X1 crossover, whose sales reached 161,353 units (+9.2 on 2012’s total of 147,776 units).
“The BMW Group posted record sales once again in 2013 and is clearly the number one in the premium segment,” BMW sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson said in a statement. “Our success can be attributed to our attractive and innovative models, the strength of our premium brands and our strategy of balanced sales across all continents.”