Luxury car brands Audi, Bentley, BMW, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Rolls-Royce all enjoyed a bumper year in 2014.
Mercedes-Benz’s seemingly never-ending plethora of models aided in that brand’s record year of 31,895 units (up 15.8 per cent), while model proliferation from BMW (22,722 – up 10.7 per cent) and Audi (19,227 sales – up 20.1 per cent) meant increases for both of those marques.
The biggest improver in 2014 – from a low base, however – was Maserati, which rose a huge 199.3 per cent to 401 units, while a smaller improver in 2014 was Bentley, up 11.6 per cent with 135 vehicles sold. Lexus saw growth of 1.2 per cent to 7000 units, while fellow Japanese luxury brand Infiniti rose 45.1 per cent, recording 441 sales.
British brands Jaguar and Land Rover both saw decent gains – the former was up 5.6 per cent to 1167 units, while the off-road specialist saw a jump of 21.0 per cent, with 10,106 sales; Rolls-Royce saw a 143.8 per cent increase over 2013’s results, with 39 units sold.
Porsche saw big growth in 2014, with sales increasing 47.6 per cent to 2812 units. The iconic 911 sports car was a strong performer, but the bulk of sales went to the brand’s SUV ranks: the Cayenne accounted for 1125 units, while the Macan racked up 800 units in just over six months.
Indeed, the growth of SUVs was one of the biggest driving forces in the luxury car segment: the Audi Q3 stole 40 per cent of volume in the small SUV over $40K segment (2607 sales, ahead of the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class), though it dropped 10 per cent compared with 2013’s figures. That segment improved 20.2 per cent.
Mid-sized soft-roaders rose 12.5 per cent, while the Audi Q5 dominated (3432 sales) ahead of the BMW X3 (2842), Range Rover Evoque (2584) and Volvo XC60 (1519). Mercedes-Benz doesn’t yet have a vehicle in the mid-sized SUV segment, though the next-generation GLC-Class will likely be here by late this year.
The large SUV segment rose 12.1 per cent, with the updated-in-2014 BMW X5 the best-selling model with 4130 sales, beating the Mercedes-Benz M-Class (3143) and Range Rover Sport (2584).
The only luxury maker that didn’t score an improvement in sales was Volvo. The Swedish marque dipped 9.3 per cent to 4693 units.