MUNICH, Germany, March 11 (UPI) -- Audi AG outsold Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) for the first two months of the year, taking the lead in global sales for luxury cars.
Around this time last year Audi was trailing BMW, which has retained the No.1 spot in this segment for the last nine years. Mercedes, which has been in third position, has been making strong gains and hopes to catch up with the top two car makers at the end of this decade.
Audi sold 242,400 vehicles for January and February, 383 more than the BMW brand, whereas Audi trailed BMW by 429 vehicles last year.
“Competition in the premium segment is more intense than ever,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said. “We’re ahead of our two main rivals in the first two months, but this doesn’t really interest me much. Our focus is on further growth.”
Audi's February sales were boosted by a 43 percent jump in sales of the A3 compact and 32 percent gain for the Q7 sport-utility vehicle. Volkswagen sold 9.3 percent more cars in the first two months, followed by BMW’s 8.9 percent rise. Mercedes had a surge of 17 percent for the first two months on the back of strong sales of the CLA coupe and flagship S-Class sedan.
According to IHS Automotive, BMW will remain at the No.1 position for the year, projected to sell 1.77 million cars, beating Audi’s 1.66 million and Mercedes’s 1.56 million.