BMW outsells Mercedes-Benz for second year in a row

German automaker BMW outsold arch-rival Mercedes-Benz in the past year, according to vehicle sales numbers released Tuesday. 

Globally, BMW sold 2.1 million cars in 2022 – a fall of 5 percent compared to 2021. But it was still enough to outpace Mercedes Benz, which sold 2.04 million cars. 

The two German giants both pointed to supply chain bottlenecks, semiconductor shortages and China’s ongoing fight against COVID-19 as reasons for the slight slowdown.

Despite the difficult economic headwinds, sales of BMW’s fully electric vehicles performed particularly well, with 215,755 vehicles sold, a rise of 107 percent compared to the previous year. The Munich-based company also said it handed over its 500,000th electric vehicle in the fourth quarter of 2022. 

“Our strong product line-up is the best response to a challenging environment – and enabled us to more than double our sales of fully-electric vehicles again in 2022,” said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW responsible for Customer, Brands, Sales.

The BMW Group says it is optimistic about the year ahead. “We will maintain our course for profitable growth in 2023. The clear focus will be on continuing to ramp up electromobility. The next milestone for 2023 is for 15 percent of our total sales to come from fully-electric vehicles,” said Nota. 

 

Mercedes ramps up EV production 

Stuttgart’s Mercedes-Benz also pointed to a rise in electric vehicles sales as cause for celebration, with the automaker noting that EV passenger car retail sales more than doubled to 117,800 units in 2022, an increase of 124 percent. EVs represented 15 percent of overall Mercedes-Benz Cars retail unit sales for the year. 

“After another year with limited vehicle availability and supply chain bottlenecks, I am grateful for our customers’ passion for our products and their ongoing trust in our brand,” said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. “2022 provided many highlights: We now have eight fully electric models in showrooms.”

The company noted that EV sales to China had been particularly strong, with deliveries of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids growing by 143 percent over the year. 

The company said the decision to stop exporting cars and vans to Russia had impacted their global business. 

“2023 will contain many milestones in the transformation of our customer experience with the introduction of our direct sales model in major markets like the UK and Germany,” added Seeger. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held a meeting with business leaders from the country’s main automakers Tuesday. The gathering focused on the country’s efforts to remain competitive in the transition from combustion engine-based cars to electric platforms. 

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