On Monday, Mercedes-Benz said it has retained its title as the world’s most successful premium brand carmaker. Its booming business in China is an essential part of securing that status. The company sold 2,289,344 cars across the 12 months, representing a 9.9% growth over 2016 that was spurred on by strong demand from its key markets, China, Germany and North America.


BMW has yet to provide full-year sales figures for last year. But according to statistics released towards the end of 2017, the Munich-based company trailed Mercedes by some 200,000 units at the end of November, a gap thought to be impossible to plug within just one month.

Mercedes’ home market accounted for more than 300,000 of its 955,301 European sales; the region’s demand was up by 6.4% on 2016.

Mercedes also took the premium lead in Britain to rank ahead of Audi and BMW, beating those brands with a 6.4% sales boost to give it a 7.04% market share, compared with 6.88% and 6.77% respectively.