As you may know already, Bmw trailed Lexus as the No.2 U.S. luxury brand for the past decade and it appears that the German manufacturer will fail again to grab the crown in 2010, despite the Lexus recall crisis.
According to Bmw global sales chief Ian Robertson, the sales of the brand will be uppressed this year by the wind down of the old 5 Series and the introduction of the new one.
"Effectively, we've run out our existing 5 Series and won't launch our new 5 Series until June," Robertson said at the Beijing auto show. "So a full-year effect won't be felt."
For those who don't know, the sales of the 5-Series represent approximately 25% of Bmw's volume in the United States. "We still see we will have some growth this year, but it's a few digit points," Robertson said.
"How that turns out with competitors' volumes remains to be seen." Regarding Lexus, you may know already that the GX 460 SUV was labeled a safety risk by Consumer Reports, but the Lexus sales were still up 42 percent to 20,219 vehicles in March, compared with a year earlier.
During the first quarter, Lexus sales improved 18 percent to 49,523 vehicles. Mercedes-Benz was No. 2 in March, up 28 percent to 20,031 vehicles.