Having been launched all the way back in 1972, the 5 Series is BMW’s oldest nameplate still being used as we’re about to enter 2024. As of spring 2023, more than 10 million units of the luxury sedan were produced, making it one of the most successful products from Bavaria. Today, we’re taking a look at the sales numbers for each of the past seven generations of the sedan, some of which also got a long-wheelbase derivative in China.

Sold between 1972 and 1981, the original E12 racked up 699,000 sales and was followed by the E28 (1981-1988) with 722,000 vehicles. Then the E34 came along in late 1987, racking up 1.2 million sales until it was retired from the lineup in mid-1996. The E39 proved to be even more successful, generating an impressive sales volume of 1.22M until 2004 when it was discontinued.

The E60 was the first 5 Series Sedan to get a stretched version, but only 59,000 units were sold whereas the standard-wheelbase global model amounted to 1.08M sales. What started off as a niche model evolved into a much more competitive car in the subsequent generation. Codenamed F18, the elongated 5er was sold in 812,000 examples, narrowing the gap until the globally available F10 with its nearly 1.1M sales.

As we already reported, the G38 made and sold in China outsold the regular G30 by 130,000 cars (950,000 vs 820,000). Overall, sales of the seventh-generation 5 Series were lower, partially due to the coronavirus pandemic and supply bottlenecks.

Launched earlier this year, the G60 has already spawned a long-wheelbase variant for China under the G68 internal codename. It’s available both with combustion engines and as an extra-long electric i5. This latest generation of the 5 Series is unlikely to spawn another 6 Series Gran Turismo. For a more practical variant, the Touring is debuting early next year with gasoline, diesel, and electric powertrains, plus a spicy M5 wagon flavor.

BMW will be making the current 5er into the early 2030s as production of the wagon is reportedly set to end in February 2031. The regular sedan will bow out sooner, in June 2030, but the M5 sedan is sticking around until February 2031 as well.