The past 12 months have been very good for Mercedes-Benz. The luxury marque recorded worldwide sales of 2,083,888 million cars in 2016, the first time it’s cracked the 2.0 million mark and the first time since 2005 that it’s outsold arch rival BMW. The figure represents a substantial 11.3 percent increase on sales in 2015.
It was records all around with BMW passenger vehicle sales in 2016 coming in at 2,003,359 units, up 5.2 percent on 2015’s results. In third place was Audi whose sales of 1,871,350 units were up 3.8 percent on its 2015 results, even with the diesel scandal.
Mercedes was also the leader in the luxury market in the United States in 2016, even though its sales here took a dip. The marque’s sales, excluding commercial vehicles, totaled 340,237 units, a decline of 0.8 percent. Lexus was a close second with 331,228 sales, down 3.9 percent on the previous year. BMW was in third spot with 313,174 sales, down a substantial 5.2 percent on the previous year.
The strong performance of Mercedes worldwide is a reflection of its efforts to expand the lineup and focus on improving the level of comfort, design and technology in its cars. Mercedes has also shaken up its Chinese operations since being fined by regulators in 2015 for price fixing. As was the case for many luxury automakers, China was Mercedes’ single biggest market with sales in 2016 coming in at 472,844 units, up 26.6 percent on 2015.
For Mercedes, it also didn’t hurt that the marque has won the last three Formula One World Championships and via its in-house tuner Mercedes-AMG is now building some of the best performance cars on the planet. AMG’s sales in 2016 totaled 99,235 units, an insane 44.1 percent gain on the previous year’s record results.