Despite the semiconductor chip shortage, the world’s top-selling luxury car brands BMW and Mercedes showed some encouraging global sales growth in the first half of 2021, following the pandemic-related horrors of 2020.
BMW, in fact, achieved an all-time first-half sales record of 1 339 080 vehicles across its brands, including Mini and Rolls Royce. In fact this figure was also a good 7,1 percent higher than in pre-crisis year 2019.
The Bavarian carmaker also managed to narrowly beat its arch rival from Stuttgart, with the BMW brand alone accounting for 1 178 292 sales, while Mercedes-Benz recorded 1 162 471 unit sales for its passenger car range.
BMW enjoyed a greater lead in the South African sales race, according to figures released by Naamsa, with 6664 units sold in the first half of 2021, while Mercedes-Benz SA managed 5206. That works out to a monthly average of 1110 for BMW and 867 for Mercedes, for the record.
When looking at South African exports, however, Mercedes edged ahead with 30 500 C-Class exports versus BMW’s 29 526 exports of its X3, however the East London based plant would no doubt have achieved even greater export numbers were it not for the changeover between the old and new C-Class models.
While individual model sales figures have not been released for South Africa, it’s interesting to note that the best-selling Mercedes model globally was the GLC SUV, followed by the C-Class and E-Class saloons. The SUVs and the compact models also saw some impressive growth in H1 2021, of 53,2% and 42,1% respectively.
As for BMW’s top performers, the 3 Series enjoyed a particularly strong first half, recording a growth of 49,1%, while the X3 climbed 43,9% and the 5 Series by 33,3%. BMW’s M Division also enjoyed its most successful half-year ever, with global sales growing by 39,4 percent to 83 357.