In a spin over sales
BMW is burning rubber over figures that crowned Mercedes, writes Paul Gover
THE world’s favourite prestige car brand is calling for a swab of last year’s Australian sales results.
BMW says it was the showroom leader last year, despite official industry figures giving the crown to Mercedes-Benz.
BMW points to worldwide sales figures, provided in an industry swap between the two German brands, that contradict the local results and, it says, point to the actual number of retail deliveries to new owners.
‘‘If you look at the registrations, we actually beat Mercedes by about 200 units,’’ Ian Robertson, BMW’s global head of marketing, said.
‘‘These are the ones that come from Mercedes. We exchange data.’’
Australia’s official Vfacts figures give the sales crown for 2010 to Mercedes-Benz by a margin of 18,464 to 17,993, but Robertson has figures that say the result is 17,876 to 17,445 in favour of BMW.
‘‘That (Vfacts) is registration data. This is retail data, so this is what Mercedes actually sold. These are in the hands of customers,’’ Robertson explained.
BMWAustralia is staying out of the fight, but Robertson’s accusation has angered Mercedes-Benz Australia management, which says it is happy to accept the official ruling by Vfacts.
‘‘We stand by the referee’s decision. With Vfacts there is a set of criteria that everyone complies with,’’ says Horst von Sanden, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Australia. ‘‘And VFacts is audited.’’
Of Robertson’s claim, he said: ‘‘I’m a bit surprised. Some people are happy one year to use Vfacts numbers and then want to use something different. In a long-term view, it’s best if the industry sticks to the same figures.’’
Last year’s totals from Vfacts also show Benz scored individual class victories with its C and E-Class models, the B-Class had its best year in Australia and the December total was a company record.
The 2010 total of 18,464 was up by 24.4 per cent — Benz’s best showroom total since it set up in Australia, 52 years ago.
Pride on show: theBMW6 series Cabriolet at the European Motorshow in Brussels Expo this month.