Report: Audi may have passed Mercedes in Q1 global sales, but BMW is still #1

Posted on 13 April, 2010


Audi outsold Mercedes Benz globally in the first quarter of 2010; a big deal considering it was the first time the four-ringed automaker had ever accomplished such a feat. But while Audi was finally able to pass its crosstown rival in sales, the German automaker is still longing for the title of the top luxury brand in the land.
Automotive News reports that BMW announced final Q1 sales of 265,809 vehicles, besting Audi by an anorexic 1,709 units for the three month period. BMW saw a global sales increase of 14 percent compared to the same period of 2009, buoyed by strong sales of its new X1 crossover and a 56 percent increase in 7 Series sales. BMW sales boss Ian Robertson said in a statement that the company intends to improve sales across the globe, adding, “We are back on our growth track in nearly all the automobile markets.” And BMW isn’t just hoping the market improves – the automaker is counting on an increase in sales courtesy of its new 5 Series lineup, which was launched overseas last month and arrives in the U.S. in June. BMW also has a refreshed 3 Series coupe and convertible on the way as well. With single digit growth, BMW intends to sell 1.3 million vehicles in 2010.

But while BMW pulled out the slimmest of victories in Q1, we’re thinking Audi’s performance during the first three months effectively puts its German competitors on notice. With a very good product lineup and a considerable foothold in China, Audi may well achieve its goal of becoming the largest luxury car maker on earth by 2015 a lot earlier than most people expected.