BMW narrows gap with market leader Mercedes in Vietnam's luxury car scene

By Thanh Nhan   April 8, 2024 | 02:08 am PT
BMW narrows gap with market leader Mercedes in Vietnam's luxury car scene
A BMW X6. Photo courtesy of Thaco Auto
Mercedes, the best-selling luxury auto brand in Vietnam for years, is seeing BMW close the gap rapidly following the start of local production.

Mercedes sold 3,416 units last year, a 57% decline from 2022 but still the highest for the seven luxury brands in Vietnam.

BMW jumped from fourth place in 2022 to second last year with sales of 2,023, a 108% increase. It was the only brand to achieve an increase in sales.

In third place was Lexus with 1,532 units, a marginal drop from 2022. It was followed by Volvo, Audi, Porsche, and Land Rover. Together the seven sold 8,638 vehicles, down 36%.

Mercedes used to outsell BMW 6-8:1, but the gap has narrowed to around 1.5 times. Its share of the luxury auto market has dropped from 60% in 2022 to 40% while BMW’s has jumped from 7% to 23%.

The rise is attributed to BMW’s manufacture in Vietnam by Thaco.

The first BMWs made in Vietnam were sold at the end of 2022, and now four models are sold at cheaper prices than imported units.

Among the models are Series 3 and X3, which are considered the main competitors to Mercedes’s C-class and GLC.

Brad Kelly, CEO of Mercedes Vietnam, told VnExpress that the race between Mercedes and BMW has become more even and similar to their competition globally. But others in the luxury segment have also been gearing up.

In March Audi opened its third showroom in HCMC and fifth in the country. It is in a residential area and includes a quick maintenance facility.

This is its new type of urban showroom, and it plans to open more in Vietnam to reach 18 by 2032. Managing director of Audi Vietnam, Ferry Enders, expects luxury vehicle sales to surpass the auto industry average.

Volvo Vietnam earlier this year opened its fourth showroom. Land Rover opened a showroom in Hanoi last year and plans to open one in HCMC latest by next year. Mercedes now has 17 showrooms and BMW, 15.

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