BMW recorded sales of 21,204 vehicles in the U.S. last month, an increased by 29% from the same month last year, thanks to the new 3-series sedan. The February figure brought the automaker back into the lead ahead of Daimler's Mercedes-Benz in terms of U.S. luxury car deliveries. Sales of the 3 series increased 66%.
Meanwhile, Mercedes' sales last month increased by 17% to 18,080 units. Also, sales of Lexus, which is owned by Toyota Motor Corp., leaped 21% to 16,678 units. Industry analyst Jesse Toprak at TrueCar.com commented that the 3 series will remain as the "difference maker" in the luxury vehicle competition in 2012, adding that BMW has the "advantage going into this year." California- based TrueCar.com monitors vehicle sales.
The refurbished C-class compact sedan from Mercedes and a recent two-door variant have aided the automaker in putting pressure on BMW's attempts to maintain its position as the bestselling luxury brand in the U.S. BMW took the place in 2011, outperforming Lexus, which held the position for 11 years.
After two months, Mercedes went ahead of BMW with a 770 unit sales lead. In January and February, Mercedes had total sales of 38,379 units while BMW sold 37,609 units in the same months. Meanwhile, U.S. dealers sold 28,952 Lexus automobiles. The figures do not include Daimler's Smart cars and Sprinter vans as well as BMW's Mini brand, which are not premium automobiles.
According to BMW of North America's head Ludwig Willisch, the boost in consumer confidence as well as the introduction of the recent BMW 3 series enabled the "strongest" February figures since the record sales in 2007. The revamped 3 series, which are more fuel-efficient, reached the showrooms in the U.S. on February 11. It comes for as low as $35,795 excluding destination charges.