Mercedes-Benz solidified its worldwide sales lead over the BMW brand in the first half of the year. BMW’s six-month deliveries rose 5.8 percent from a year earlier to 986,557 autos, compared with a 12 percent gain to just over 1 million cars for Mercedes. That left BMW trailing Mercedes by 20,062 vehicles. Audi reported a 5.6 percent first-half delivery increase to 953,200 cars, aiming to become No. 1 in the luxury-auto industry.

During June, BMW delivered 189,097 cars, a gain of 9.7 percent. The biggest seller was, surprisingly, the 5 Series (29,965 units / +5.4%) followed by the 2 Series (21,720 units / +49.6%) and the BMW X1 (17,031 units/ +79.8%).


That compares with Mercedes’s 11 percent jump to 188,444 autos that was also propelled by a surge in SUV demand. Audi remained in third place with 169,000 deliveries, a gain of 7.4 percent.

BMW also said it received 5,000 orders for its revamped electric i3 city car with an improved driving range before the model became available this month.

In June, four percent of all BMW sales in Western Europe were electrified cars, with that percentage increasing significantly in markets where e-mobility is supported by financial and infrastructure measures. All premium automakers are investing in electric mobility and autonomous driving, so the landscape is expected to shift in the next decade.