Benz ranks as 2016’s luxury brand to chase

MERCEDES, BMW and Audi all post 2015 sales records, but it's the three-pointed star that has stretched its lead

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the brand's best-selling model in 2015

MERCEDES-BENZ as cemented itself at the top of the Australian luxury car sales tree, easily outranking its rivals in 2015.

That’s despite Audi and BMW posting significant double-digit growth in the segment, setting the Germans well ahead of their British and Japanese rivals.

Mercedes-Benz posted a 14.0 percent jump compared with 2014 to log 36,374 sales for the year, buoyed by its strong-selling C-Class small sedan and wagon range, the GLA compact SUV and CLA compact sedan that, between them, accounted for almost one in three sales for the brand last year.

BMW’s most popular vehicle was its 3- and 4 Series range, with the X5 SUV a close second. ombined, they also accounted for about one in three sales for the brand, and helped achieve a 25,022 sales tally, a new BMW Oz sales record and 10.1 percent jump over 2014. Despite this, Mercedes’ growth stretched the gap between the two even further, from 9173 to 11,352 vehicles.

2015 Luxury Brands Shoot -out

Audi, meanwhile, kicked its sales along with a stunning 20.1 percent increase in 2015 to 23,088, less than 2000 units behind BMW and despite the ‘Dieselgate’ fiasco afflicting both its brand and parent company, VW Group. Audi had several strongly performing models for the year, including its best seller, the A3 C-segment hatch, which overtook the Q5 mid-size SUV as the brand’s bread-and-butter model. The smaller Q3 also performed strongly, as did the A4 sedan, wagon and cabriolet that’s due for replacement next month.

The fight among the luxury badge minnows was dominated by Lexus, which upped its growth by a quarter after plugging the one glaring gap in its model line-up with the NX compact SUV. Traditional showroom stuffers including the IS sedan and RX mid-size SUV helped round out the numbers.

Jaguar fared well by pushing growth into double digits – but only barely. The heavy lifting was performed by a combination of its all-new XE sedan that finally appears to be taking the fight to the Germans, but also the XF mid-size saloon, a new generation due here this year too.

Infiniti, meanwhile, posted a significant 30.2 percent boost to 574 sales for the year, although it’s coming from a low base. Its Q50 sedan accounts for three in every five sales for the brand, almost doubling sales of the brand’s next best-seller, the QX70 SUV.

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