Most luxury car players recorded sales growth in 2019, though Jaguar Land Rover didn't best 2018's figure
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All car manufacturers like to put a positive spin on things, but 2019 was a largely positive sales year for luxury brands worldwide.

Most of the bigger players that have released calendar year sales figures showed growth, with the exception of Jaguar Land Rover.

Mercedes-Benz recorded 1.3 per cent sales growth worldwide to 2,339,562 vehicles. This figure includes AMG models, plus the X-Class and V-Class, but not its work van range or heavy trucks.

Add in Smart (116,781, down 9.3 per cent) and you have a total of 2,456,342 sales, up 0.7 per cent overall. Again, this excludes work vans and trucks.

Arch rival BMW’s bread-and-butter models grew 2 per cent to 2,168,516 vehicles. Within this, its BMW M GmbH models contributed 135,826 units, up 32.2 per cent, while the BMW i EVs and i Performance PHEVs added 145,815, up 2.2 per cent.

Mini sales dropped 4.1 per cent to 346,639 units, while Rolls-Royce grew 25.4 per cent thanks to the Cullinan, adding 5152 units to the total. The resultant BMW Group (BMW, Mini and RR) returned 2,520,307 units.

This means that Mercedes-Benz outsold BMW, but the BMW Auto Group outsold the Mercedes-Benz group, unless you then add in the separately run Mercedes-Benz Vans division, which added 420,000 sales to the mix.

It’s easy to see how both brands claimed to be the number one, and even easier to see why everyone gets so confused…

Meanwhile fellow German Audi recorded 1.8 per cent delivery growth in 2019, equating to 1,845,550 units finding owners.

Sweden’s Volvo Cars set its sixth consecutive global sales record in 2019, breaking the 700,000 cars sold mark for the first time in its 93-year history. The company recorded sales of 705,452, an increase of 9.8 per cent compared to 2018. Chinese parent Geely (also a major Daimler shareholder) must be chuffed.

British-Indian marque Jaguar Land Rover didn’t fare quite as well, with its sales down 5.9 per cent for the year to 557,706 (396,105 of which were Land Rovers and Range Rovers, and the rest Jaguars).

Lexus, the final major-volume luxury car brand, releases its 12-monthly data at the end of Japan’s financial year (March 31), but at the mid-way point of 2019’s calendar year was up 10 per cent to 360,045 units.

Similarly, Porsche AG has yet to reveal its 2019 sales, though its last update showed sales between January 1 and September 30 worldwide were 202,318, up 3 per cent.

2019 premium car sales results

  1. Mercedes-Benz* - 2,339,562 (up 1.3 per cent)
  2. BMW** - 2,168,516 (up 2 per cent)
  3. Audi - 1,845,550 (up 1.8 per cent)
  4. Volvo - 705,552 (up 9.8 per cent)
  5. JLR - 557,706 (down 5.9 per cent)

*Includes AMG, V-Class and X-Class, but no work vans or trucks, or Smart
** Includes all BMW M models, but no Mini, Rolls-Royce, or motorbikes