Even as prices at the pump hold steady at low rates, the premium segment of the auto industry is popping the champagne after an historic 2015. Over the course of last year, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and McLaren have all set or are anticipating new sales records. Aside from sales, Ferrari is celebrating its independence and Hyundai is dropping in on the luxury market with the Genesis badge.
For McLaren, a supercar company that’s only been in business for five years, 2015 is the second year in succession that it’s broken the previous year’s record. Even though each model it produces is hand assembled, it delivered 1654 cars this year.
Demand is such that the company is introducing a night shift. “This accelerated development has led to yet another record year, with unprecedented levels of demand for all of our cars, especially the new Sports Series, for which we are currently holding more than six months worth of orders,” said CEO, Mike Flewitt.
Jaguar Land Rover has also enjoyed a bumper 2015, selling 487,065 vehicles – a 5% jump on 2014. “Customer response has been extremely positive, resulting in record retails across UK, North America and Europe. The appeal of our Jaguars and Land Rovers has also been recognized through over 95 global awards in 2015, including 15 for the Land Rover Discovery Sport and 19 for the Jaguar XE alone. 2016 promises to be another exciting year,” Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover Group Sales Operations Director, said.
Despite being implicated in the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal, Audi exceeded even its own lofty expectations – selling 1.8 million cars globally and for the first time crossed the 200,000-vehicle mark in the US where it can’t build SUVs quick enough to keep up with demand.
“2015 has proved that Audi is solidly on track and that we are able to master a year that presented various challenges very successfully,” Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, said.
Meanwhile Volvo sold more than 500,000 cars for the first time in its history. “I am delighted to report that 2015 was a year of record sales,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “Now, with a successful 2015 behind us, Volvo is about to enter the second phase of its global transformation. Once completed, Volvo will have ceased being a minor automotive player and taken its position as a truly global premium car company.”
Cadillac is also reenergized. After years of struggling to compete, it saw a 7.5% growth in global sales. “This creates a strong foundation for our two all-new products launching in the first half of 2016 — the CT6 prestige sedan and the XT5 luxury crossover,” stated Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.
Mercedes and BMW remain the popular premium automotive brands to beat. Mercedes clocked up sales of 1.872 million vehicles globally, a 13.4% jump on 2014. “We anticipate additional sales impetus in 2016 from the new E-Class, the world’s most intelligent business saloon,” explained board member Ola Källenius.
BMW has yet to reveal full results from 2015 but the firm had already experienced a record 2014, selling more than 2 million vehicles globally; the Munich-based automaker passed the 2 million mark in November last, the first time it has ever done that by that point in the year. “The steady sales growth we’ve shown throughout the year so far reflects the great new products we currently have on the market,” commented Dr Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for sales and marketing BMW.
This report was compiled by in-house writers, in combination with a wire report and image from the AFP.