BMW posted a 39-percent year-on-year increase in vehicle sales in the United States in December 2012, as buoyed by the 5 Series car line. BMW sold 37,399 vehicles in December 2012, helped by a 72-percent surge in sales of its midsize 5 Series. On the other hand, close German rival Mercedes-Benz logged a 9.5-percent year-on-year increase in the US for December 2012 sales to 28,145 units, boosted by a 32-percent hike in sales of its E-Class sedan at 6,984 vehicles. Japanese luxury carmaker, meanwhile Lexus recorded a 21-percent year-on-year hike in sales to 30,607 vehicles.
With strong December 2012 results, BMW effectively beat Mercedes to the crown as the best-selling luxury carmaker in the US. BMW now holds the top spot for two years in a row. Mercedes-Benz held a 1,849-vehicle lead against BMW through November 2012. But when the year ended, BMW sold a total of 281,460 vehicles, beating Mercedes-Benz by 7,326 units.
BMW and Mercedes were neck-to-neck in the race to become the No. 1 luxury carmaker in the US, after outselling erstwhile leader Lexus. Lexus had been the top-selling luxury brand in the US for 11 years until 2010. Its reign, however, was cut short by natural disasters in Asia that impacted vehicle production in 2011.
Ludwig Willisch, chief executive officer of BMW of North America, told Bloomberg that the carmaker likes to be at the top and it is now “No. 1 in the world.” He remarked that being No. 1 means success. According to BMW, its sales in the US surged 14 percent for entire 2012. BMW likewise posted a 46-percent increase in X3 sport-utility vehicle sales in December 2012 to 5,162 units. For the full year 2012, BMW logged a 27-percent jump in X3 sales to 35,173 units.
As viewed from the sides, the new BMW X3 exposes a profile marked by re-interpreted BMW X design cues. These include dynamically flared wheel arches, short front and rear overhangs as well as three character lines. The most prominent of these lines is the brand’s signature upper contour line at door handle level. This line initially rises steeply near the front wheel arch, and then flows gently to the rear. This contour line is followed by two subtle lines just above wheel arches.
Meanwhile, the rear end of the new BMW X3 is distinguished by horizontal lines and a couple of precise lines as well as expressive surfaces. The rear end features the distinctive T-shaped taillights that are located far to the outside as well as light bars employing LED technology.
In terms of dimensions, the new BMW X3 is around 83-mm (3.36 inches) longer, 28-mm (1.1 inches) wider and 12 mm (0.5 inch) taller than its predecessor. Its 2,810 mm wheelbase (110.6 inches) is also 15-mm (0.6 inches) longer than the previous model. Moreover, it ground clearance is higher by 12 mm (0.5 inch.