The namesake brand of BMW AG outperformed the sales of Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz as well as other manufacturers of luxury vehicles in the United States last month, expanding the company’s lead for 2011 as the automakers in Europe boosted discounts.
The deliveries of BMW in the U.S. increased 16 percent in May from last year of the same month to 20,651 units, the company disclosed last Wednesday in a statement.
The increase was brought about by the sales of SUVs and the new 5-series sedan. During the same period, U.S. dealers sold 18,886 units of Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs, which is 1.8 percent more than a year earlier, Daimler revealed in a statement.
The figures do not include Daimler's Sprinter vans and Smart cars as well as BMW's Mini brand, as they are not luxury vehicles. On the other hand, Toyota Motor Corp. disclosed in a statement that its Lexus sales during the same period tumbled 45 percent to 12,305. This Toyota unit has been the bestselling brand of luxury vehicle in the nation on an annual basis for the past 11 years.
The brand’s lead compared to BMW has narrowed to 9,216 sales last year, which is less than half the 19,473 gap in 2009.
Also last year, Mercedes finished in third place. According to the U.S. sales operations of BMW, Jim O'Donnell, “it would appear” that Lexus has been adversely affected by a lack of supply. As for Volkswagen AG, Audi’s U.S. deliveries increased 14 percent to 10,457 vehicles, the company stated in an e-mail.
For the first five months of 2011, BMW deliveries increased 13 percent to 92,068 units, whereas Mercedes achieved 90,274 sales and Lexus experienced 77,237 deliveries. Moreover, the U.S. sales of BMW's 5-series models increased 84 percent in May while X3 SUV deliveries increased more than three times to 2,350, the company stated.