It wasn't that long ago tat the world was BMW's oyster. It was creating new niches everywhere for an ever expanding range of models. It was the biggest selling premium brand and that didn't look like changing anytime soon. Mercedes decided to follow the strategy that proved so successful for BMW and suddenly there are full beam headlights in BMW's rear view mirror. Then a swift overtaking manoeuvre and the Three Pointed Star was ahead.
The seeming ease of this positional change caught me by surprise. If the MINI brand is included in BMW's numbers, it still is the biggest selling premium. However the fact remains that things are fluid in the premium sector.
Mercedes doles out statistics like a miser does money while BMW has been generous with the statistical lowdown on sales and production. I don't think it matters what a company releases as the competition knows its adversaries anyway. That said, BMW is moving the MB way. Hopefully not too far.
Already, variants of each model have been culled from sales releases. The i3 and i8 have been merged into one. BMW and MINI sales for China are no longer separated. Sales by model for South Africa have just been stopped and MINI integrated into the one total figure. The trend gives the impression that BMW is getting defensive about data. In the meantime, there is still enough to bother writing an article on (MB never gets one written because there is insufficient).
As for sales, cars were -1% to 1,358,000 and SUVs up 22% to 645,000. BMW started making the SUV in the year 2000, with less than 5% of the total. New SUV models were added so that by 2010, over 20% of sales were of the high riding sort. 27.7% were SUVs in 2015 and 32.2% in 2016.
For the sales data, please click here (as Goggle Blogger cannot handle charts well so am trying separation of the main article and the chart).