In the premium challenge, Mercedes-Benz continues to lead the ranking among the brands, while BMW remains in the lead among the groups. In the year of the pandemic, the balance of power has not changed much. The spread of the virus has “only” confirmed that top-of-the-range manufacturers suffer less even when market conditions are particularly difficult. Porsche is one example. In 2020, the Zuffenhausen house sold just 8,000 fewer cars than in 2019, after which it had recorded yet another record: 272,200 instead of 280,000. The decline was 3.1% against a global market down by more than 14%.
The house with the star marketed 2,164,187 cars: despite a 7.5% contraction in volumes, Mercedes-Benz (including 125,129 AMG models) was the world’s most successful premium brand. BMW, which lost a little less (7.2%), stood at 2,028,659, including the 144,218 cars in the M division, even + 6%. Audi had to deal with a decline of 8.3% to 1,692,800 cars.
The Swedes of Volvo Cars, which like the Italian Lamborghini (-9%) recorded the best second half of its history (a result that for all is linked to the “freezing” of the activities of the first), delivered 661,713 cars (391,751 between July and December), equal to 6.2% less than in 2019. Both Land Rover (323,480) and Jaguar (102,494) suffered significantly more significant drops: -18.3 and -36.6% respectively. Tesla is the only premium manufacturer to have recorded a progression: with just under half a million cars delivered worldwide, it has grown by 36%.
Among the groups, on the other hand, the Bavarian one maintained the “top of the range” record with just under 2.325 million units (-8.4%) against over 2.202 million of Daimler (-6.2%). Both companies were penalized by the decline in the less “noble” brands: Mini (-15.8%) and smart (-67.1%). On the 2020 figure, China’s impact has taken on even greater importance than in the past.
Both Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz closed the year with new delivery records in the Celestial Empire, where Volvo Cars, owned by the Chinese company Geely, also grew: 166,617 cars (+ 7.5%). In December, the home with the star delivered 204,684 cars, over 26% of the annual total (almost 774,500 units). The increase on an annual basis was 12%. BMW (with Mini) reached 777,379 with a 7.4% progression, again thanks to an extraordinary December (217,698 deliveries). With its 727,358 registrations, Audi increased Chinese volumes by 5.4%. Cadillac also did well: + 7.9% to 230,000 units.