BMW Hit Mercedes Where It Hurt Most Last Year

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Global sales from BMW's M Performance division soared by a third.

Global new car sales from BMW's M performance division exploded last year with the availability of a host of new models, setting a new all-time record for the high-performance sub-brand, according to BMW Blog. In all, M sales surged by 32.2% worldwide, chalking up a total 135,826 deliveries and further injuring German premium car rival Mercedes-Benz, which lost the US luxury car sales crown after three years on top.

Not that Mercedes' own high-performance division, AMG, didn't also enjoy strong sales globally in 2019; it, too, saw double-digit growth in new vehicle deliveries as sales grew by some 11.8 percent. But that was only enough for second place, as AMG moved 132,136 units worldwide in 2019 - 3,690 fewer than BMW's M.

Uwe Fischer
2020 BMW X5 M Front Angle View Uwe Fischer
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BMW's M division sales accounted for roughly 6 percent of its total global sales volume in 2019, as four new high-performance crossover models - based on the X3, X4, X5, and X6 - all debuted, alongside the 2020 BMW M2 CS and multiple flavors of the 2020 BMW M8.

BMW M - formerly BMW Motorsport - has been around since 1972, making it nearly half-a-century old. Its first M-branded product was the wedge-shaped Italdesign-penned BMW M1 in 1978, and since then, the company has gone on to sell numerous agile, high-powered road car models based on more pedestrian, mass-market products.

Front View Driving Uwe Fischer
Uwe Fischer

Based on the onslaught of new BMW M models that are either inbound or already on the market, we fully expect the high-performance division to further extend its market share throughout 2020 - especially as so many of the company's new products are performance-oriented utility vehicles.

Of course, many a sportscar fanatic will balk at that strategy, preferring to remember the M division that once dropped a 5.0L V10 with an 8,250-rpm redline into a family sedan. But unfortunately, products like that don't seem especially able to pay the bills.

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