Mercedes’ reign as the best-selling luxury brand in Australia is over as BMW has dethroned the three-pointed star for the first time in 11 years. With 26,184 vehicles delivered in 2023, the company with the famous roundel sold 1,869 more cars than its archrival from Stuttgart. The last time BMW was ahead in the luxury race was in 2012.

Demand for BMWs jumped by 15.4% last year while those for Mercedes vehicles declined by 9.3%. It’s worth mentioning that since the beginning of 2022, Mercedes has been selling cars at fixed prices. BMW also plans to adopt the agency model from 2026 in Europe, but it has already ruled out selling cars at non-negotiable prices in Australia.

In the past six years, BMW sales have gone up in the Land Down Under while those of Mercedes have declined. BMW’s best year in Australia was in 2016 when it shipped 28,028 cars whereas Mercedes set a record in 2017 when it delivered 37,048 cars.

In 2023, the best-selling BMWs in Australia were the X1 (4,644 units, +91.5% YoY growth), X3 (4,002 units, -12% YoY decline), X5 (3,682 units,+18.4%), and the 3 Series (3,147 units, +11.7%).

When you factor in the commercial side of Mercedes-Benz by considering sales of the Vans branch, Mercedes still came out on top overall. Sales results for 2023 published by Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show Mercedes-Benz Vans sold 4,538 units in 2023, up by 1.3% compared to the year before. Doing the math, Mercedes passenger and commercial vehicle sales amounted to 28,853 units or 2,669 more than BMW.

Elsewhere, Audi had to settle for third place with 19,039 units (+29.2%), followed by Lexus with 15,192 units (+114.3%) and Volvo with 11,128 units (+3.9%). However, Tesla beat them all with 46,116 cars (+135.4%), but opinions are split regarding whether it’s a luxury brand or not.

With the exception of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Jaguar, all the other luxury brands in Australia were up in 2023. That includes MINI, which had a great year as demand blossomed by 42.9% to 4,289 units.

Source: BMW Australia