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Audi vs BMW vs Mercedes-Benz – Who sold the most cars in South Africa in 2023

With all three being from Germany and focusing on luxurious passenger cars; Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have been locking horns for the better part of the last century.

In 2023, it was the maker of the popular X3 that came out on top in South Africa, selling in excess of 11,900 vehicles over the course of the last 12 months, according to best estimates from Naamsa, the automotive business council that collects sales figures from manufacturers in the country each month.

The exact number that BMW sold is unknown, as the manufacturer only reports its performances once per quarter, and they are also bundled up with the sales of its sub-brand Mini.

Mini moves an average of approximately 145 units per month according to the figures we have available, so if we remove these from the sum of 13,679 sales that the BMW Group experienced, we can deduce that BMW by itself sold around 11,941 vehicles in the country last year.

In comparison, estimates from Naamsa show that Mercedes-Benz sold in the region of 8,324 cars over the same period which was enough to secure it the second position.

At least Audi gives us its detailed numbers every month, showing that the VW Group’s premium division accrued 6,259 customers in the past year.

A breakdown of all three automakers’ sales figures is shown in the following table:

Month Audi BMW (excl. Mini) Mercedes-Benz
January 647 units 1,086 units* 588 units*
February 564 units 1,247 units* 753 units*
March 488 units 1,266 units 839 units*
April 427 units 821 units* 556 units*
May 444 units 1,083 units* 692 units*
June 615 units 1,091 units 824 units*
July 532 units 738 units* 685 units*
August 557 units 785 units* 642 units*
September 550 units 921 units 692 units*
October 510 units 1,034 units* 669 units*
November 462 units 1,068 units* 648 units*
December 463 units 801 units 736 units*
Total 6,259 units 11,941 units 8,324 units

*Figures are Naamsa estimates.

The year of Audi

Between the German trio, Audi currently has the most aged line-up with plenty of its cars having been on the market for three-plus years, as such, the brand with the four rings has a number of special-edition vehicles in store for South Africa in 2024.

In no particular order, Audi confirmed that the following vehicles will be “rolled out progressively” during the year:

  • A3 and S3 Black Edition
  • A3 Sportback 35TFSI Urban Edition
  • A4 and S4 Black Edition
  • A5 and S5 Black Edition
  • Q2 Black Edition
  • Q2 35 TFSI Urban Edition
  • Q3 SUV and Sportback Black Edition
  • Q5 SUV and Sportback Black Edition

We already know that the A4 and S4 Black Edition will range from R900,000 to R1,247,900, depending on the model, and are kitted with a variety of stylistic additions for a significantly lower price than if they were to be optioned individually, such as the Black Styling Package and S Line interior and exterior packs.

On top of these, the facelifted Q8 SUV will hit local roads in the second quarter of the year with a fresh look and feature set.

Audi A4 Black Edition

BMW had a whirlwind 2023 with the release of 11 new cars in the local market, including the updated 3 Series, new M2, first-ever XM super SUV, and electric i5 and iX1 amongst others.

With such a busy 12 months behind its back, it’s no surprise that the Munich-based manufacturer will take it easy in 2024.

Thus far, it only has the second-generation X2 on the cards for South Africa in Q1, but it could surprise us later in the year with another new model as it has done in the past.


Like its competitor, Mercedes-Benz brought several new vehicles to South Africa last year, but it’s not looking to slow down any time soon.

There are at least six autos on the way with a three-pointed star on their nose, including the facelifted GLA and GLB along with their high-performance AMG variants, as well as the sporty AMG GLC SUV and AMG GLC Coupe.

The standard CLE is also scheduled to arrive before the end of June, with Mercedes looking at a launch window of between late 2024 and early 2025 for the AMG CLE 53.

While the company did not divulge the specifics, it is widely anticipated that 2024 holds the introduction of the next-gen E-Class and revised GLS, too.

Finally, it’s expected that we will finally get the new C63 S E Performance this year as it was supposed to reach our shores towards the end of 2023 following its global reveal in late 2022, but this never happened.

Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance

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