While BMW lagged behind Mercedes-Benz and Audi in terms of sales in 2015 in India, the brand retained its numero uno position in the international market. The annual sales of BMW saw an increase of 5.2% at 1,905,234 units in 2015. The BMW Group, consisting of MINI and Rolls-Royce, apart from the core brand, sold 2,247,485 vehicles around the world last year, an increase of 6.1% when compared to the previous year. 

With this achievement, BMW marked the fifth consecutive annual sales record. Out of the total 1,905,234 units, around 30,000 units are BMW i hybrid vehicles. The BMW 2 Series became a popular model among buyers with a total of 1,57,144 sold in 2015.

While BMW retained the top spot, the competition heated up for the second place. Mercedes-Benz overtook Audi in 2015 with 1,871,511 vehicles sold worldwide with an increase of 13.4%. Similar to India, the best selling model for Mercedes-Benz globally was also the C-Class sedan, which saw a sales jump of 40% to 443,909 cars last year.

Audi slipped to the third spot with 1,803,250 automobiles sold in 2015 but the company number set a new record with 3.6% growth over 2014. Audi's SUV family grew 6.0% in 2015 and around 537,950 units of Audi SUV models were sold worldwide. The A3 and its variants contributed to Audi's growth with an increase in sales of 20.3% to around 3.72,750 units.

"In 2015, we launched a total of 15 new or refreshed models and our results show that these innovative new vehicles are popular with customers," said Dr Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG, speaking at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

In 2014, BMW sold 18.1 lakh cars, while rival Audi took the second place, delivering 17.4 lakh vehicles. Mercedes-Benz lagged behind with a sale of 16.5 lakh luxury cars.