Mercedes-Benz and BMW have both released their final sales figures for 2020, so it’s time to take a look at which of the two German giants claimed the title of the world’s best-selling premium automotive brand.

Of course, we should bear in mind the year was marked by the COVID-19 global pandemic, resulting in decreased sales all round.

Still, the BMW brand delivered 2 028 659 units over the course of the year, representing a year-on-year drop of 7,2 percent. The Mercedes-Benz brand, meanwhile, reported 2 164 187 units (including V-Class and X-Class sales) over the same period, falling by 7,5 percent. By our maths, that sees the Stuttgart-based automaker win by 135 528 units (for the record, Audi delivered 1 692 773 units in 2020, some 8,3 percent down), leading the charge for the fifth year on the trot.

And what about when it comes to the performance divisions of the two brands? Well, BMW M sold a record 144 218 units (up 5,9 percent) in 2020, while Mercedes-AMG managed 125 129 units (down 5,3 percent). Whipping out the calculator reveals Munich took the title here by 19 089 units, opening the gap further after also winning this race in 2019.

The BMW Group (as opposed to brand), meanwhile, claims it retained its position as the “world’s leading premium automotive manufacturer” in 2020. And at first glance the stats bear that out: as a group (thus including the BMW brand, Mini, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad), the Munich-based firm hit 2 324 809 units (down 8,4 percent), some 122 231 units ahead of Mercedes-Benz Cars (including the Mercedes brand as well as Smart), which ended on 2 202 578 units.

However, remove the 169 272 units of BMW-branded motorcycles from the equation and the picture changes. In addition, add Mercedes-Benz Vans’ commercial sales of 325 771 units to the mix and the Daimler-backed automaker’s total figure rises to 2 528 349 units.