Mercedes-Benz has sped back to the front of the luxury automobile pack. The brand reported total 2016 sales of 2.08 million vehicles on Monday, an 11.3% year-over-year increase.
Mercedes' biggest competitors, Audi and BMW, haven't fallen far behind. Audi reported 1.87 million total sales for 2016 - a record number, albeit only 3.8% better than 2015. BMW hasn't reported its full-year sales figures yet, but reported 1.82 million in total 2016 sales for the luxury brand as of the end of November, up 5.6% year-over-year.
The Daimler AG brand chalked up part of its success to strong demand in China, where a rising middle class has embraced traditional forms of conspicuous consumption like luxury autos. Sales in the nation jumped 26.6% year-over-year to 472,844 vehicles.
"2016 was the most successful year for Mercedes-Benz in the history of the company, and the sixth record year in succession," Daimler Chairman of the Board Dieter Zetsche said in a statement.
The company's push of its SUV lineup is apparently paying dividends: sales of the class - which includes the G-Class and GLE - rose 34.3% year-over-year to 706,170 units for the year.