Update: As Mercedes-Benz South Africa only reports aggregated sales data, the split volumes for their various individual model types, as listed here, are estimates calculated by our source LightStone Auto.

The luxury car sales game is essentially a German civil war, and it’s one that Mercedes-Benz has just started winning on the global stage, having overtaken BMW in 2016 for the first time in over 10 years.

Naamsa’s monthly figures also show that the two run a close race on local shores, but that’s normally as much as we know since Mercedes-Benz no longer reports individual sales figures for its various models from month-to-month. However, these numbers are eventually submitted retrospectively, and that brings us to the sales comparison you’ll find below, which is based on total sales for the year 2016 as supplied to us by LightStone Auto.

As Mercedes hasn’t listed its C-Class Coupé separately from the sedan, nor its coupé-inspired GLC and GLE from its regular crossovers, we’ve added together the figures for 3-Series/4-Series, X3/X4, X4/X6 and A4/A5 to give you a more direct comparison. 

As you’ll see, the two brands run each other very close in most segments, with Audi trailing behind in almost all barring the compact hatch class, where its A3 range comes second to BMW’s 1-Series.


Compact Hatch/Saloon

 BMW 1-Series 2570
 Audi A3 3dr + Sportback 1871
 Mercedes-Benz CLA 1789
 Audi A3 Sedan 1528
 Mercedes-Benz A-Class  1468
 Mercedes-Benz B-Class 1192
 Volvo V40  561

Medium Saloon/Coupe

 BMW 3 Series + 4 Series8372 (6680 + 1692)
 Mercedes C-Class (incl. Coupe)8288
 Audi A4 + A53189 (2723 + 466)
 Jaguar XE293
 Volvo S60182
 Lexus IS141
 Infiniti Q5055
Large Saloon

 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 659
 BMW 5 Series  478
 Audi A6 242
 Mercedes-Benz CLS 175
 Jaguar XF 154
 Maserati Ghibli 63
 Audi A7 Sportback 61
 Lexus GS 26

Grand Saloon

 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 451
 BMW 7 Series 441
 Audi A8  43
 Jaguar XJ 20
 Maserati Quattroporte 20
 Porsche Panamera  20
 Lexus LS 2

Compact Crossover/SUV

 Mercedes-Benz GLA 2203
 BMW X1 2158
 Audi Q3 1431
 Range Rover Evoque 872
 Mini Countryman 255
 Volvo V40 Cross Country 209

Medium Crossover/SUV

 BMW X3 + X4 2040 (1292 + 748)
 Mercedes-Benz GLC (incl Coupe) 1582
 Land Rover Discovery Sport 1136
 Audi Q5 818
 Volvo XC60 512
 Jaguar F-Pace 357
 Lexus NX 286
 Porsche Macan 217

Large Crossover/SUV

BMW X5 + X61988 (1579 + 409)
Mercedes GLE/M-Class1582
Range Rover Sport982
Jeep Grand Cherokee743
Mercedes-Benz GLS/GL-Class581
Porsche Cayenne576
Audi Q7547
Volvo XC90 469
Range Rover 223
Lexus RX161
Bentley Bentayga 24

IOL Motoring

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