Mercedes sales dropped 1% last year to 2.05 million vehicles, behind German luxury automaker rival BMW, which delivered 2.4 million, down nearly 5%, as both battled chip shortages, supply bottlenecks, pandemic lockdowns in China, and the war in Ukraine.
In North America, both automakers posted strong fourth quarters. Mercedes sales rose 17% on the continent, while BMW’s increased 9.4%. Full-year sales at Mercedes were up 3%, while BMW’s dropped 1.3%.
Worldwide, both brands reported surges in battery-electric vehicle sales to buoy their bottom lines, more than doubling that share of their deliveries. BMW Group said it sold nearly 216,000 fully electric vehilces during the year, and Mercedes 117,800 BEVs.
“We are confident we can build on this success in 2023, as we continue to see particularly high order intake for our fully-electric models,” said Pieter Nata, a member of the BMW AG Board of Management responsible for customer, brands and sales, in a statement.
Mercedes said its plug-in hybrid electric and battery-electric models made up 15% of retail sales “on its way towards an all-electric future.” It plans to have an all-electric lineup by the end of the decade and announced plans for its own vehicle-charging network of more than 10,000 chargers around the world.
BMW said it’s optimistic about 2023 sales.
“The clear focus will be on continuing to ramp up electromobility,” Nata said. “The next milestone for 2023 is for 15% of our total sales to come from fully-electric vehicles. With the launch of the BMW i5 later this year, we are taking another important step on the road to electrifying our model lineup.”