BMW enjoyed its fifth-straight year of record sales in 2015 after rounding out the year with an impressive 1,905,234 deliveries. That represents a 5.2 percent increase on the previous year and has allowed BMW to retain its title of world’s best-selling luxury car brand.

However, the competition is closing in fast. Mercedes-Benz sales shot up like a rocket in 2015 to end the year with 1,871,511 deliveries, a significant 13.4 percent increase on the previous year. The result saw Mercedes sail past Audi which, despite its ongoing emissions cheating scandal, still managed to increase deliveries by 3.6 percent to 1,803,250 for the year. Both results were new records for the respective brands.

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BMW was also the best-selling luxury car brand in the United States, though coming in second was Lexus while Mercedes and Audi finished third and fourth, respectively.

“In 2015, we launched a total of 15 new or refreshed models and our results show that these innovative new vehicles are popular with customers,” BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson said at this week’s Detroit Auto Show. “Our sales grew consistently throughout the year, despite headwinds in some markets.”

Those headwinds referred to by Robertson are particular strong in China where BMW sales together with those of MINI grew just 1.7 percent (BMW hasn’t provided a figure for deliveries). In his speech, Robertson said he doesn’t expect conditions in China to improve this year and as a result the automaker will aim to keep supplies flexible.

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China has been an area of substantial growth for luxury brands and some, such as Mercedes-Benz which saw sales soar 32.6 percent there in 2015, are still enjoying favorable conditions. However, as the market continues to mature we should start to see growth rates start to level off.


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