The car manufacturer BMW significantly increased its sales in the third quarter and defended its first place in the global premium segment. Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, sold fewer cars in the third quarter and pointed to model changes and delivery bottlenecks. Both companies are experiencing problems in China.
But good news came from there for the industry on Tuesday: after a dip in the summer, more vehicles were delivered again in September, according to the industry association PCA.
BMW sales director Pieter Nota said on Tuesday in Munich that the company was on track for solid sales growth for the year as a whole. In the third quarter, sales rose by almost 6 percent to around 622,000 cars compared to the same quarter last year. In the first nine months, sales rose 5 percent to 1.836 million cars.
Four percent decline at Mercedes-Benz
Despite some hiccups in the supply chains, BMW was able to build and deliver more vehicles than in the previous year. The growth drivers were the expensive luxury models and the fully electric vehicles. BMW announced that incoming orders remain high.
Mercedes-Benz sold almost 511,000 cars in the third quarter, four percent less than in the same period last year. Sales were slowed down by a model change for the E-Class and AMG models and by limited availability of the GLC due to delivery bottlenecks from a supplier. After the first nine months, Mercedes-Benz sold 1.530 million cars, two percent above the previous year. For the year as a whole, the Stuttgart-based company is only targeting sales at the previous year's level.
Things are also going better at BMW with electric cars at the moment. The Munich-based company increased deliveries of its BMW and Mini brand battery cars (BEVs) by 80 percent to 94,000 in the period from July to the end of September compared to the previous year. BEV sales also “grew significantly faster in the first nine months than the overall BEV market,” said Nota. Electric vehicles are expected to account for 15 percent of total sales this year. Mercedes-Benz increased its BEV sales by 66 percent to 61,000 electric vehicles in the third quarter. Around 11 percent of these were sold in Germany alone.
In Europe, both car manufacturers were able to increase their deliveries by 12 and 13 percent respectively - in China, however, there was a setback for both. At BMW, sales in China fell by almost two percent to around 210,000 cars in the third quarter, while at Mercedes-Benz they fell by 12 percent to 196,000 cars.
The Chinese industry association PCA announced that deliveries of cars to end customers rose by 6 percent to 2.03 million cars in September compared to the same month last year. There was already an increase in August, but in June and July sales fell year-on-year. In the USA, BMW increased its sales in the third quarter by 8 percent to 92,000 cars. Mercedes-Benz sales fell by 15 percent to 64,000 cars sold.