Traditional German Rivalry Spans The Globe

As with most rivalries, competition between brethren can be the most contentious. So as Mercedes-Benz and BMW battle for every sale in the global performance luxury market, it is like a tug-of-war.

BMW is currently leading on the balance sheets reporting an earnings before interest and tax margin of 9.5 percent in the first quarter, down 4 points from the earlier year but besting the 7 percent achieved by rival Mercedes.

Meanwhile both giants — while dismissive of suggestions of a real threat — lagged the 10.1 percent earnings of Audi emboldened by the huge launch of the new A3 model.

BMW has made sharply focused brand identities the centerpiece of its growth strategy with the enviable stable of Rolls-Royce at the princely profitable high-end and the MINI capturing the young and young at heart.

The BMW brand itself has also expanded significantly with the introduction of the electric i3, the newly created 4 Series and the X1 SUV crossover series.

Significantly contributing to the strong profits were BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce combined sales up 25 percent in China.

This George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio.

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