BMW AG is presenting an incentive program through the end of this month that allows lease owners to skip payments if they purchase a new vehicle. They failed to surpass Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz in U.S. luxury auto sales. From an Oct. 10 notice sent to dealers, we learned that BMW is sending offers via mail to present lease owners of majority of the vehicles in its 2010 model-year lineup that permits the customers to waive up to three payments to buy a new or certified-used model. This program offered through BMW Financial Services runs through Oct. 31. After Mercedes experienced a 7% sales increase in September, it extended its lead over BMW to 5,221 deliveries through the year’s first nine months in the race to be the top U.S. luxury auto brand.
Last year, BMW recorded higher sales than Mercedes and Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus, which was affected by vehicle shortages due to natural disasters in Asia at that time. Lexus held the No. luxury brand position in the U.S. for 11 years. The models that qualify for BMW’s lease pull-ahead program include the 1 Series and 3 Series sedans, as well as the 5 Series, 6 Series and 7 Series cars. The other models that are eligible are the X3, X5 and X6 SUVs.
The models that don’t qualify are the M versions and 3 Series coupes and convertibles among others. Mike Geylin, a spokesman for the finance unit who works for Kermich-Geylin Public Relations Inc., said that BMW Financial Services has presented a lease pull-ahead program three times in 2012. Geylin added that the initiative that runs through Oct. 31 is comparable to efforts BMW made last year. He explained that many automakers do this. A July 31 notice sent to dealers announced BMW’s Specialty Demo Allowance deals that offers total payments ranging from $2,500 for some 2012 5 Series models to $7,000 for the 2012 7 Series. An Aug. 14 e-mail to dealers revealed that these allowances, which were also offered for the 2012 3 Series, were available until August.