Despite regaining the U.S. crown, BMW had to concede in the global race of premium car sales. According to the latest sales reports, Mercedes-Benz successfully defended its crown as the world’s bestselling premium car brand, beating rivals BMW and Audi for the fourth year in a row.

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Last week, BMW reported sales of its namesake branded vehicles which rose 2 percent to a record 2.17 million cars last year. Mercedes said its sales increased 1.3 percent to 2.34 million vehicles.

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Audi came in third with 1.85 million cars sold in 2019, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to the previous year.

Mercedes also said that it posted sales record in Germany, China and the U.S. thanks to strong demand for its SUVs and high-end sedans. The brand said demand rose 6.2 percent in China, where local customers ordered the top-end Maybach Mercedes S-class limousine at a rate of more than 700 vehicles a month.

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BMW’s sales were also aided by their SUV lineup, including the new BMW X7 which shows great strength in several markets.

Looking at the overall BMW Group, with its MINI and Rolls Royce marques, sales came in at 2,520,307 units compared to the 2,339,562 reported by Mercedes-Benz and Smart.

In the U.S., BMW sold 324,826 units beating Mercedes-Benz by 8,732 units. That’s a very narrow gap, mind you, and it comes after Mercedes posted a drop in sales over the last month of 2019. The Stuttgart-based car maker sold almost exactly the same amount of cars in 2019 as it did in 2018, adding up to a total of 316,094 units.

[Source: AutoNews]