By David Sachs


Mercedes-Benz car sales were stable last year while Audi's rose after both German luxury-vehicle companies said they would pursue value over volume.

Volkswagen-owned Audi said Thursday that it delivered 1.9 million cars in 2023, 17% more than the prior year. Mercedes sold just over 2 million cars, which was steady compared with 2022. The Vans business pushed group vehicle sales to 1.5% higher than in the previous year.

Mercedes hit its goal of flat unit sales, with executives more interested in maintaining premium-level pricing than increasing sales volumes. In its last annual report, the German carmaker said it would have a "special focus" on top-end models in 2023. On the year, sales of top-end models were unchanged while entry-level models grew by 4%. The German company's "core" segment, which comprised most of its sales last year, fell by 2% on supply bottlenecks and the changeover to the new E-Class, it said.

The company targeted an adjusted return on sales of between 12% and 14% for its cars division.

Volkswagen, whose Audi brand also hit its target for car sales, similarly said it would favor pricing power over sales volume. Audi car sales grew 13.5% in China and Hong Kong, where analysts say intense competition has driven down car prices. Mercedes sales fell 2% in China on the year.

Audi Chief Executive Officer Gernot Doellner welcomed the high demand in China and elsewhere.

"At the same time, we recognize that 2024 will be a challenging year due to increased competition and global economic uncertainties," Doellner said. "This makes it all the more important to follow a clear plan that addresses these challenges and focuses on the profitability of our vehicles."

The other major German luxury-car company, BMW, said Wednesday that it sold more than 2.5 million cars in 2023, a 6.5% increase from the previous year.


Write to David Sachs at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 11, 2024 10:04 ET (15:04 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2024 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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