Mercedes-Benz and Audi, two prominent German luxury car companies, have taken different approaches to their sales strategy. While Mercedes aimed to maintain stable unit sales, Audi experienced a significant increase in sales volume.

In 2023, Volkswagen-owned Audi delivered 1.9 million cars, representing a 17% increase compared to the previous year. On the other hand, Mercedes sold just over 2 million cars, maintaining the same level as in 2022. The inclusion of van sales pushed the overall group vehicle sales to 1.5% higher than the previous year.

Mercedes achieved its goal of flat unit sales by prioritizing premium-level pricing rather than focusing solely on increasing volumes. The company emphasized top-end models, leading to unchanged sales figures in this segment, while entry-level models witnessed a 4% growth. However, their "core" segment, which made up the majority of their sales in the previous year, experienced a decline of 2% due to supply bottlenecks and the transition to the new E-Class.

The target for Mercedes' cars division was an adjusted return on sales between 12% and 14%.

Similarly, Volkswagen's Audi brand also met its car sales target and expressed a preference for pricing power over increasing sales volume. Audi experienced a 13.5% growth in car sales in China and Hong Kong, driven by intense competition leading to lower car prices. Comparatively, Mercedes encountered a 2% decline in sales in China.

Audi CEO Gernot Doellner acknowledged the high demand in China and other markets while recognizing the challenging year ahead due to increased competition and global economic uncertainties. In response, Doellner emphasized the importance of following a clear plan that focuses on the profitability of their vehicles.

In contrast, BMW, another major German luxury car company, announced a 6.5% increase in car sales, surpassing 2.5 million units in 2023.

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