The top of the range is not doing so badly. Better in any case than the auto market as a whole. The BMW group (with Mini and Rolls Royce) thus sold 2,324,800 units in 2020, a decline of only 8.4%. The Munich brand alone fell 7.2% to just over 2 million. The manufacturer (with Mini and Rolls Royce) even increased its volumes over the last quarter (+ 3.2%) of the year (to 686,000). Sweden’s Volvo (Geely group) fell 6.2% (to 661,700 vehicles) in 2020. Audi (Volkswagen group) fell 8.3% (to 1.69 million). The American Tesla, champion of the luxury electric car, has outright increased production by 71% (to 509,000 vehicles).
Porsche (another member of the Volkswagen group), for its part, delivered a total of 272,000 vehicles worldwide in 2020 (-3%), after the historic peak established in 2019. Lamborghini (also Volkswagen group) fell by 9% with the delivery of 7,430 units. In the second half of the year, the transalpine car brand even broke its sales record. Mercedes, the traditional number one in premium, has not yet published its commercial results. These declines are much lower than those of generalist brands. The Volkswa label
gen fell by 15% last year (to 5.33 million), Skoda by 19%, Seat by 25.6%. The Renault group fell by 21% (to 2.95 million).
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First of all, and this is traditional, the high end is less sensitive to variations because buyers with higher incomes are less dependent on the economy. The premium market is also closely linked to that of corporate fleets, which are also less likely to be affected by market variations. The global premium is also very internationalized. China is its first outlet. However, this country suffered little market variation last year (-1.9% in 2020), while car sales worldwide weakened by 14%. However, China absorbs more than 40% of sales of the BMW group, whose registrations increased by 7.4%, last year, a third of those of Porsche (+ 3%), a quarter of deliveries. from Volvo (+ 7.5%).
Finally, under pressure from the public authorities, premium builders stepped up their energy transition last year, which also spurred their sales. Deliveries of Porsche’s first electric, the Taycan, reached 20,000 units in 2020. Honorable. At BMW, the electrified (electric and plug-in hybrids) exceeded 192,600 sales (+ 31%). The Bavarian offers 18 electrified models, or 12% of its sales in Europe which should rise to 33% in 2005. In March 2021, it will deliver its first fully electric iX3 compact SUVs. The X3 range will therefore be the first in the world available in electric, gasoline, diesel, plug-in hybrid at the same time. This last variation arrived in the summer of 2020 and is already a big success. The competitor Mercedes GLC, which also exists in plug-in hybrid in addition to the petrol and diesel versions, is now 70% chosen by French customers, who, 75%, are also companies.
In France, registrations of premium models also fell less (-23% to 190,400 registrations) than in the entire car market (-25.5% to 1.65 million). Even if the differential remains low in France. Mercedes fell 23% last year (to 52,000), ahead of BMW (-22.6% to 45,500), Audi (-21% to 45,300), Volvo (-24.4% to 16,400), Tesla (-1% to 7,370), Lexus (-17.4% to 5,900), Porsche (-12.5% to 4,800).