Mercedes-Benz and BMW have both released global sales figures for the first three quarters of 2018, so we’ve decided to take a closer look at exactly what’s going on in the luxury sales race.

From the start of January to the end of September 2018, the BMW brand managed to register 1 566 216 units, which it says represents a year-on-year increase of 1,9 percent. And Mercedes-Benz? Well, the Stuttgart-based brand sold 1 715 087 units, down 0,1 percent (for the record, Audi managed 1 407 700 units, a year-on-year increase of 2,0%).

That puts Mercedes-Benz ahead by 148 871 units after the first three quarters of the year (compared with the 129 536 units that separated the two at the year’s halfway point).

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz Cars (which includes the Smart brand) sold a total of 1 811 471 vehicles in the first three quarters, some 23 339 units behind the BMW Group (which includes the Mini, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad brands), which managed 1 834 810.

And in South Africa? Well, since Mercedes-Benz SA doesn’t report individual model sales figures, we can report only on the group’s passenger vehicle number (i.e., including Smart, but excluding Mercedes-Benz trucks). BMW Group SA, too, now reports only aggregated sales data.

In the first three quarters of the year, Mercedes sold 12 940 passenger vehicles in South Africa, while BMW managed 13 991 (this figure includes Mini, but excludes Rolls-Royce and Motorrad). That gives the Munich-based automaker a 1 051-unit local advantage in the passenger vehicle segment going into the final three months of 2018…