Deliveries of the BMW brand in the U.S. luxury automotive sales race increased by 19% last month. It was able to widen its lead due to the higher sales of the X3 sport-utility vehicle. BMW said that in September 2011, sales of the redesigned X3, which arrived at U.S. showrooms this January, increased to 1,853 units.
A year ago, only 146 units were sold for the same month. This helped the company’s SUV sales to increase by almost four times to 19,167 units so far this year. Jesse Toprak, an industry analyst with TrueCar.com, a Web site that tracks auto sales, said that the X3 is “very well received."
He added that this is “one of the better executed redesigns” that has come out from the luxury segment in a long time. While BMW brand deliveries increased to 21,750 in September, the sales of Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. actually increased by 9% to 21,649 units. The top luxury U.S. model for the last 11 years has been Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus. Its sales in September dropped by 12% to 14,995 units.
With this sales figure for the month of September, BMW widened its sales lead for 2011 with a 13% climb to 177,679. Mercedes’ deliveries through September increased by 6.3% to 169,862 in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Lexus's year-to-date totals declined by 16% to 135,647. Toprak said that the interior and handling of the X3 were improved and that the vehicle is now offered with monthly lease deals as low as $459 last September. These results don’t include Daimler's Sprinter vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, which aren’t categorized as luxury vehicles.
The new BMW X3 features a design that exudes not only elegance but also true agility and ruggedness. In terms of dimensions, the new BMW X3 is around 3.36-inches (83mm) longer, 1.1-inches (28mm) wider and half-an-inch (12mm) taller than its predecessor. Featuring a wheelbase that is around 0.6-inches (15mm) longer -- at 110.6 inches (2,810mm), the new BMW X3 has a half-inch (12mm) more ground clearance.
Its front end is also marked by the forward-slanting BMW kidney grille that is bordered on the sides by large headlight assembly. Sweeping down to converge at the kidney grille are six contour lines from the vehicle’s front apron and hood. In keeping up with the traditional BMW Sports Activity Vehicle design attributes, the X3’s twin round headlights and the round fog lamps form a triangular light pattern, while the upper edge of the headlight assembly is accentuated by a chrome trim.
Moreover, the brand’s signature "Corona Rings" could be illuminated to serve as daytime running lights. When the optional Xenon headlights are availed, the X3’s Corona Rings and daytime running lights are lighted by bright white LEDs. On the other hand, the new BMW X3 features a profile marked by typical BMW X design features like dynamic flared wheel arches as well as short front and rear overhangs. Three hallmark lines further emphasize the X3’s dynamic silhouette.
One of these is an upper contour line at door handle level – a feature typical of the brand’s vehicles – that initially surges steeply within the front wheel arch area, then delicately flowing to the rear. This contour line is followed by two more subtle lines just above the wheel arches.
Meanwhile, the rear end of the BMW X3 is marked by horizontal lines that underscore its robust character as well as by precise lines and expressive surfaces that allow for an emotional interplay between light and shadow. For the newest iteration of the BMW X3, the T-shaped taillights have been located quite a bit farther to the exterior while its LED light bars allows for a characteristic BMW night-time design signature.