Sales of the BMW brand increased 3.1 percent to 16,405 units in January in the United States, the automaker revealed in a statement. On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz deliveries leaped 24 percent to 20,306, as sales of its C-class model boosted 56 percent, the company disclosed.
With these figures, BMW was unable to maintain its lead versus Mercedes in terms of January U.S. sales, receiving some payback after December's sales push to close its place as the top-selling U.S. luxury brand in 2011. Meanwhile, deliveries of the Lexus brand slid 4.6 percent to 12,274 units last month.
Analyst Jesse Toprak at Santa Monica, California-based TrueCar.com commented that BMW "perhaps" was a "bit more aggressive" in its marketing and incentive endeavors in December that may have pulled ahead some of its sales from January. BMW deliveries increased 13 percent in 2011 to 247,907 units, assisted by the refurbished X3 SUV. This figure allowed the company to be heralded as the bestselling luxury brand in the U.S. after Lexus had held the position for 11 years.
Lexus sales dropped 13 percent last year to 198,552 units, as it was adversely affected by production shortages after the March earthquake in Japan. Mercedes, which was aided by the new coupe and the updated C-class sedan, ended 2011 in the No. 2 spot, behind BMW with 2,715 fewer sales.
Mercedes' sales increased 13 percent in the U.S. last year to 245,192 units. The results do not include Daimler's Sprinter vans and Smart cars as well as BMW's Mini brand, which are not luxury vehicles. Sales of BMW's 3-series increased by 16 percent to 6,698 units last month amid preparations to introduce a redesigned variant to showrooms next month.
Tightly drawn surfaces that have sweeping lines are seen along the sides of the new BMW 3-Series Sedan, giving the car a visual stretching as well as added verve to its dynamic look. The car’s flanks are dominated by the attractive double swage line that is composed of a pair of character lines that run laterally to each other. The upper swage line flows over the front wheel with a muted sweep after coming out from the lower front end. The other swage line starts behind the front wheel and sweeps towards the rear. These swage lines enhance the car’s flanks’ wedge shape and cast a light and shadow play below the lines, further underscoring the vehicle’s wide track.
Looking at the C-pillar’s base, you can find the eye-catching interpretation of the German carmaker’s trademark Hofmeister kink giving the new 3-Series more élan. Then you have a contour line that runs from the roof through the boot lid, giving the illusion that the car is lower than it actually is. Meanwhile, the car also has a low rising shade line that adds more emphasis. All of these help make the car look athletic and elegant with the light surfaces just above the side skirt, emphasizing the lightness of the flank lines.
Contrasting light surfaces
At the rear, you have horizontal lines that cover even the rear lights that is positioned in the traditional BMW L-shaped design. These lines emphasize the wide face of the wheels as well as the broad track of the new 3-Series. The reflectors are placed on far edges and it helps to guide the vertical lines that are coming out of the greenhouse spilling over the rear lamps and then down to the wheels.
This helps give the car a polished road presence. The signature BMW 3-Series design element are the pair of lines located beneath the rear spoiler just above the bumper, giving the rear a stylish frame. The contrasting light on the surfaces helps make the back of the new 3-Series Sedan fresh and dynamic, underscored by precise lines, definite edges and flowing surfaces.