BMW overtakes Mercedes, top premium brand in US

BMW overtakes Mercedes, top premium brand in US

It’s been a tough year for the automotive industry in general, but BMW seems to have weathered the storm very well – at least in the United States, where the company has officially overtaken arch-rival (and now bedfellow) Mercedes-Benz to become the top-selling premium brand.

Full-year numbers show just how much of a success the past twelve months have been for Munich. It sold a total of 324,826 vehicles in 2019, up 4.4% from the 311,014 that rolled off dealer lots in 2018, buoyed by an increased availability of SUVs like the X3, X5 and the new X7. The new G20 3 Series has also become the bestselling premium sedan since it was launched in the US last February. Looks like it was right.

“We’ve talked a lot over the course of the past two years about having the right product mix for the market, and we believe that with all of our recent launches, we have just that,” said BMW of North America president and CEO Bernhard Kuhnt. “BMW has the youngest and most exciting product portfolio in the segment.”

As for Mercedes, the figures paint a slightly less rosy picture. Discounting commercial vans like the Sprinter and Metris (Vito to you and me), Stuttgart sold 316,094 vehicles last year, an increase of just 135 units compared to 315,959 in 2018. This, despite introducing the A-Class and GLB to the market for the first time, along with launching heavy hitters like the new GLE and GLS.

Lexus continued its run in third place in the standings with 298,114 vehicles sold in 2019, down 0.1% compared to 298,310 in 2018. Audi was next at 224,111 units (up 0.4%), followed by Acura (157,385 units) and Cadillac (156,246 units).

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • Engineer on Jan 07, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    BMW and Audi catching up real fast ,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
  • My guess is that beemer hv more attractive suv to choose compared to merc wt its variations of X’ss …nowadays ppl are into those lifestyle SUVs except here in Msia, ppl still buying those boxes minivans..kinda weird

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4
  • Tokmoh sister on Jan 07, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Hardly see any Volvo in US . See more German, korean and japanese vehicles. Chinese vehicles such as Geely and Volvo cant sell in america market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
    • justo on Jan 07, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Lexus needs to be more ambitious, and introduce more engine variation.. it was once number one seller in US in the premium segment

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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