2020 was a rough year for everyone, the automotive sector included. Assembly lines halted, employees got sick, and sales tumbled. But for some automakers, last year wasn't as bad as expected. Just take a look at Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz is still the world

For the fifth year in a row, the German automaker retained its top spot as the world's top-selling luxury brand. Over the past 12 months, they shifted 2,164,187 units, securing their place in the global luxury vehicle sales. While their sales are down compared to 2019, it's a relatively small dip considering everything that happened in 2020. Total sales dropped by 7.5% from 2,339,562 units in 2019.

One of the reasons why Mercedes-Benz lost relatively few sales is because of the Asia-Pacific market. While North America and Europe saw a decline in new-car purchases, sales in Asia rose by 4.7%. Mercedes-Benz's sales driver last year was China which saw an increase of 11.7% in sales.

Mercedes-Benz is still the world

What was Mercedes-Benz's best-selling model of 2020? With approximately 320,000 deliveries last year, that honor goes to the GLC. The brand saw an increase of 12.9% in crossovers and SUV sales in 2020. If anything, it reflects the shifting preferences of consumers towards high-riding vehicles. Mercedes-Benz also likes to point out that the all-new S-Class has over 40,000 customers waiting to collect their luxury sedan.

So, who came in second? That would be BMW with 2,028,659 cars and crossovers finding new homes in 2020. As for third, it was Audi, selling 1,692,773 units last year.