If you thought competition among the German luxury automakers was hot before, it looks like things are just getting started. For the first two months of the year, Audi has sold more cars than BMW worldwide by just 383 cars.

Audi claims to have sold 242,400 vehicles through February, up 9.3 percent from last year, compared to 242,017 units from BMW, up 8.9 percent, in the same period. While the advantage is tiny, its implications could be huge because Bimmer has been the leader in the premium car segment for the last nine consecutive years. Mercedes-Benz lags behind them somewhat at 229,630 vehicles through February. According to Bloomberg, at this time last year Audi had sold 429 fewer cars than BMW.

The growth is all part of Volkswagen Group's goal to become the world's largest automaker. It currently ranks in second when its heavy truck businesses are considered. The German automotive giant also wants to be the world's leading premium carmaker. "Competition in the premium segment is more intense than ever," said Audi CEO Rupert Stadler to Bloomberg.

Audi has never held the top spot among premium automakers for an entire year, but it's investing 22 billion euros ($30.5 billion) over the next five years to stay competitive. It unveiled the new TT and S1 at the Geneva Motor Show and is just putting the A3 sedan on sale in the US.

Of course, there's still a lot of time left in the year for things to shake out, and BMW isn't going to give up its lead without a fight. It has the new the X4, 2 Series Active Tourer, refreshed X3 and more on the way. It's quite the German grudge match.


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  • 20 Comments
      Trevor
      • 9 Months Ago
      Audi on the Up and Up, they may not drive as nice, but they have better interiors, and beat BMW in reliability rankings.
      Matt
      • 9 Months Ago
      If it gets BMW to update their interiors to be half as good as Audi's, then the consumers will win. Now if Audi will only make their cars drive as well as BMWs....
      northy989
      • 9 Months Ago
      The reason is China - Audi is more popular there than BMW.
      Joey
      • 9 Months Ago
      If Audis are as popular here as in the rest of the world, Audi would be easily number one worldwide.
        Ted
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Joey
        Unless audi gets rid of that Hideous 60's style dump truck front grille their market in the U.S. will be limited. Americans like better style then they offer the rest of the World.
          ferps
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Ted
          There's a lot of great things about America. Appreciation for great design generally isn't one of them.
          Robert Ryan
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Ted
          No they are not going to add Cow Horns and Fins for the US market
        ghetto2315
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Joey
        Meanwhile the rest of the world laughs at us Americans. Audi is a good product. Just not BMW good.
        Kenyon
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Joey
        Americans remember Audis running over their owners.
        Shahul X
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Joey
        They don't care about the US market as much because they make more in China... MB and BMW concentrate on the US market also
        Alex740
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Joey
        Audi and VW both have a reliability reputation to overcome in the US.
      Soccer Mom
      • 9 Months Ago
      Sadly, the new A3 is set to reverse this trend. New C-Class and CLA start looking appealing, though.
        Alex740
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Soccer Mom
        Doubt that, I'm not a fan of the A3 myself but it will sell very well. Americans like unoffensive design and cheap luxury.
        Lachmund
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Soccer Mom
        The new A3 is fine. The model they had here on AB a few days ago was a very unfortunate color/rim combination. I see them regularly here in Europe and they look great. Definately better than the CLA. The C-Class looks amazing though but is in whole different class.
      desf
      • 9 Months Ago
      Cheap cheesy bling - easy way to become best seller in China.
      Dsuupr
      • 9 Months Ago
      How is this a positive thing? If I'm going to pay for a luxury product, I want it to be somewhat exclusive. Audi, BMW and Mercedes are all now bought by those "5 income" earners ruining what made showing them off so special.
        Dfelix70
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Dsuupr
        Which, in some ways, makes it more surprising that BMW and Mercedes are able to remain competitive considering neither has a non-premium brand
      jhnsn653
      • 9 Months Ago
      My Audi was nice but thank god I changed to BMW. BMW is by far superior in every way, my Audi have a lot of things I don't use and the Engine was slow and the turbo lag was always present. My BMW is powerful and it drives like a dream, my Audi was like a copy of a BMW, they try harder but it will never be the same. If you want the best of the best choose a BMW, if you accept anything go for the Audi.
      knightrider_6
      • 9 Months Ago
      They must be using the term "luxury" very loosely for 3-series or A4 or CLA
      Feurig
      • 9 Months Ago
      If anyone should know, China's government drives exclusively Audis. I would expect a lot of countries to be like this, which = **** tons of fleet sales. I'd actually like to see the numbers of fleet sales Audi vs. BMW and then consumer sales. It would be enlightening where this "title" comes from.
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