On the same day as Audi posted its sales figures for 2023, another BMW archrival shared details about how it performed in the last 12 months. The Mercedes-Benz Cars division – which excludes commercial vehicles – delivered a total of 2,043,800 units, including Smart-badged cars. Demand was virtually flat year over year, forcing the Stuttgart-based automaker to settle for second place.
BMW won the luxury sales race last year after shipping 2,253,835, or 7.3% more than the year before to set a record. For the sake of clarity, this number does not include cars sold under the MINI brand. The core BMW brand finished ahead of its “mortal enemy” Mercedes by precisely 210,035 vehicles. Audi occupied the last place on the podium after selling around 1.9 million cars in 2023.
The next years are shaping up to be quite interesting since all three German premium brands will launch a slew of electric vehicles. Audi has even said it will only introduce EVs from 2026 before ending production of cars equipped with combustion engines by 2032 (or 2033 in China). Mercedes could go EV-only as early as 2030 “where market conditions allow.”
In the recently concluded year, the BMW Group (including MINI and Rolls-Royce) successfully achieved its goal of having EVs constitute 15% of its total deliveries. The target for 2024 is to reach 20%, rising to 25% in 2025. In the long run, the objective is for EVs to account for more than half of annual shipments by the end of the decade. The Munich-based marque hopes the driving force behind the surge in EV demand will be the Neue Klasse platform.
The all-new architecture dedicated exclusively to EVs is scheduled to debut in 2025 with an iX3-like crossover to be built at the new factory located in Debrecen, Hungary. It’ll be followed in 2026 by a 3 Series-esque sedan that will be manufactured at the historic plant in Munich. The plan is to roll out at least six Neue Klasse-based models between 2025 and 2028. Some will be built in Shenyang (China) from 2026 and in San Luis Potosi (Mexico) from 2027.
In addition, at least six electric SUVs will hit the assembly line in Spartanburg by 2030, but BMW hasn’t specified whether these will be based on CLAR and/or Neue Klasse.