Mercedes-Benz‘s plans to regain its historical position as the world’s most popular premium automaker could be paying off, research from Germany has suggested.
The famous tri-star brand was the world’s best-loved luxury automaker until 2005, when it lost the title to rival BMW, which has held it since.
In 2011, it suffered another blow when it slipped behind Audi into third place, selling 1.26 million vehicles compared to 1.3 million for Audi and 1.38 million for BMW.
Now, though, the fight back appears to be beginning, with German newspaper Handelsblatt reporting new sales projections from the Center of Automotive Research at the university of Duisburg-Essen.
According to the researchers, BMW will sell 1.76 million vehicles in 2015, compared to 1.68 million for Mercedes-Benz and 1.63 million for Audi.
That will put Mercedes-Benz within striking distance of its well-publicized goal to become the world’s best-selling luxury automaker again by the end of the decade.
It won’t, however, be an easy fight — Audi is planning to push 2 million cars out of its factories by 2020 and wants to take the crown for itself with the help of the US market, where it is currently ramping up in a bid to take on its two dominant competitors.