Audi outsells BMW in July for third time this year
Sunday, 11 August 2013 23:56
BERLIN (Reuters): Volkswagen’s key profit driver Audi outsold BMW in July for the third time in seven months, but continues to trail the luxury-car champion on the annual scorecard. Munich-based BMW said last week that sales of its core brand rose 13.5% in July to 128,594 vehicles, compared with Audi’s 9.8% gain to 131,300.
BMW’s global deliveries already fell behind Audi’s in January and April. BMW’s year-to-date sales lead over Audi, which contributed about 40% of VW’s 3.43 billion-euro ($ 4.57 billion) group profit in the second quarter, eased slightly to 21,000 cars from 24,000 after six months.
BMW’s annual lead over Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz totalled 122,000 vehicles, although third-ranked Mercedes last week reported a 20-percent surge to 116,790 cars. Audi eclipsed Mercedes-Benz in 2011 as the world’s number two luxury carmaker. Audi and Mercedes are both aiming to replace BMW in the top spot by the end of the decade.
“The three premium makers are closing ranks,” said Frankfurt-based Commerzbank analyst Sascha Gommel, accrediting the strongest momentum to Mercedes thanks to a raft of new models. “The battle is heating up.”
Sports-car manufacturer Porsche, another VW division, said on Thursday that global sales rose 11% to 13,731 autos, powered by demand in the United States and China. The maker of the iconic 911 model posted double-digit growth in its German home market, just like BMW, in another sign that Europe’s number one sales region may be headed for recovery.
Registrations of new cars in Germany rose 2.1% to 253,146 vehicles last month, the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) said.