MUNICH -- Audi should for the first time pass the Mercedes-Benz brand in full-year global sales and finish 2011 as the world's No. 2-selling premium brand behind BMW.
With one month to go, Audi leads Mercedes by more than 56,500 total vehicle sales, despite the Daimler subsidiary outselling Audi last month and setting a record for vehicles sold in the January-November period.
Through 11 months Mercedes brand's sales are up 7 percent to 1,136,525 units while Audi's volume has grown 18 percent to 1,193,110 vehicles. (See box, bottom)
BMW topped its German rivals in November and should defend its title as No. 1 in global premium-car sales.
Regardless of what position they achieve in the ranking, each automaker is on track to finish the year strong.
With more than 1.25 million sales after 11 months, BMW brand should easily break its record of 1,276,793 set in 2007. BMW Group, which includes the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, has already sold more vehicles in the first 11 months of this year -- 1,510,862 -- than in all of 2010.