BMW recorded sales of 21,204 vehicles in the United States last month, an increased by 29 percent from the same month last year, thanks to the new BMW 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 percent.
Meanwhile, Mercedes' sales last month increased by 17 percent to 18,080 units. Also, sales of Lexus, which is owned by Toyota Motor Corp., leaped 21 percent 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.
In January, Autodata Corp. estimated that BMW may have outperformed Mercedes-Benz in the US in December, to allow the Bavarian carmaker to earn the title as the best-selling luxury car brand of the year. According to Autodata Corp., BMW's sales in the U.S. surged 16 percent to 27,000 units in December.
BMW’s total sales in the U.S. were estimated at 248,073 units, outselling Mercedes by 2,804 vehicles, as per Autodata's estimates. Mercedes posted a jump of 28 percent to 25,778 units in December, as made possible the redesigned M-class SUV and refreshed C-class sedan. Mercedes deliveries for the full year 2011 leaped 13 percent to 245,269 units. The results do not include the Mercedes Smart cars and Sprinter vans as well as BMW's Mini brand, which are not considered as luxury vehicles.