For the most part, we've seen positive sales figures for automakers through much of 2023. With some extra help from the analysts at JATO Dynamics, we uncovered a particularly interesting factoid that comes as something of a surprise. High-performance luxury vehicles are doing quite well in the US and especially well in Europe. And one brand is standing far above the rest.
That brand is BMW, and to be more specific, BMW M. According to data for new vehicle registrations in Europe, over 19,600 BMW M models were sold through the first half of the year. That's a 58 percent increase versus the same period last year, and the growth isn't relegated to Europe. BMW M vehicles accounted for 16,400 sales in the US through June, bringing the total to 36,000 high-performance Bimmers carving corners in just these two regions.
Gallery: BMW XM Label Red (2023)
It's worth mentioning the stats only reflect full-fat M models. Vehicles like the M340i aren't included, but the pricey XM most decidedly is. And the stats show the polarising performance SUV has done quite well to boot. 1,171 units were sold in the US through the end of June, with nearly the same about finding homes in Europe.
While that number may not seem remarkable at face value, the 2023 BMW XM has a starting price of $159,995 (£148,060 in UK) in the US. It outsold some considerably less expensive performance vehicles, not the least of which being its two-seat stablemate, the BMW Z4.
Gallery: Mercedes-AMG G63 Grand Edition
There's more success at BMW's crosstown rival, Mercedes-Benz. Actually, we mean Mercedes-AMG in this instance, and only the harder-hitting AMG models at that. In Europe, AMG sales were up 57 percent through the first half of the year with 13,700 units accounted for. It's enough to claim second place among high-performance divisions in the European theatre, and the Mercedes-AMG SL is a key component of that growth. However, it's not the most popular AMG of them all. That honour goes to the iconic (and also expensive) G63, which accounted for nearly one of four new AMG sales.
With three months left in the 2023 calendar, it will be interesting to see if these two luxury brands can maintain such growth with their halo divisions.