It’s just been learned that BMW surpassed Mercedes-Benz in sales for 2019, marking the first sales victory for the Bavarian brand since 2016. Admittedly, there might be an asterisk on that sales victory, due to some potential sales inflation on BMW’s end. As it stands right now, though, the Bavarians are ahead of Mercedes-Benz for 2019. However, it was a bit of a struggle to get that victory, as Mercedes has had a bit of a stranglehold on the luxury sales figures over the past few years. So why has BMW been behind Mercedes so often recently?
This video from CNBC tries to shine a light on why the Bavarian brand has struggled a bit over the past couple of years. While BMW recently surpassed Mercedes-Benz globally, a lot of that has to do with US sales, while the folks n Stuttgart are more popular in their home continent. So there’s something more attractive about Mercedes-Benz models in both brands’ home market.
According to Arndt Ellinghorst, Senior Managing Director and Head of Global Automotive Research at Evercore ISI, “BMW really has become a bit stale” he said. “Boring, too much consensus-driven, doing more of the same and I think they need to go back and really innovate more aggressively.”
He goes on to say that BMW has had a bit of an “identity crisis” and that’s a large part of why the brand recently replaced its CEO. And he may have a point.
What’s really interesting about Ellinghorst claiming that BMW has failed to innovate is the fact that we recently just spoke about how the Bavarians have become complacent, among other brands. Chris Harris just pointed out the problem and we spoke about that, which was a rather polarizing topic. Should BMW only cater to what its customers ask for, as it currently does, or should it innovate and give them what they never realized they wanted?
So check this video out as a sort of counter-argument to BMW’s recent sales victory. Is 2019 a sign of things to come from the Bavarians or is it just a mirage?