Mercedes, which grabbed the title of the world’s biggest premium car maker from BMW in 2016, looks likely to retain it this year and hold on to the crown for the foreseeable future, led by its performance in China in particular and healthy SUV sales in general, according to a report.
But the fat profits made by the top three German manufacturers, Mercedes, BMW and VW’s Audi, are likely to come under pressure as diesels became a less acceptable way of achieving fuel economy, and expensive electric cars are required to meet tightening government regulations on CO2 emissions, particularly in Europe.
German dominance looks set to continue in the short-term, but Tesla and Jaguar Land Rover might crank up a challenge in 10 years.
The report, from the University of Duisberg-Essen’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR), said in 2016 Mercedes sold 2,084,000 premium vehicles, BMW 2,003,000 and Audi 1,868,000. For 2017, CAR believes Daimler’s Mercedes will retain the crown with sales of 2,250,000, followed by BMW’s 2,100,000 and Volkswagen subsidiary Audi with 1,900,000.
“In the global competition for premium brands, Mercedes will continue to lead the world over the next few years and keep the main competitors BMW and Audi at a distance,” said Professor Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of CAR.