The BMW brand dominated the luxury vehicle market in the United States in March, thanks to strong demand for its 3- and 4-series sedans. The 3- and 4-series surged 47 percent in the month to 14,835 vehicles, pushing BMW to jump 6.9 percent to 34,310 vehicles. The BMW 1- and 2-series posted a 124-percent climb in deliveries in March to 1,249. BMW’s X5 also posted an increase, gaining 7.2 percent to 4,388 units.
Ludwig Willisch, chief executive of BMW of North America, said in a statement that the carmaker is seeing a growing confidence and optimism among consumers across the US, leading to record sales for the German carmaker in the first quarter of the year.
At close second is Lexus, which surged 8.6 percent in March to 31,054, thanks to good sales performance from the new NX crossover and RC coupe. Its March gains were driven almost entirely by the two new vehicles.
The GX was the only Lexus nameplate with a sales increase in March, gaining 8 percent from the year-earlier period on 2,024 sales. Jeff Bracken, Lexus general manager, said in a statement that the brand is having a hard time keeping up with the demand for luxury utility vehicles.
He noted that consumers are looking for utility “to go with their luxury experience." Lexus managed to fend off a rally by the Mercedes-Benz brand, which grew 9.2 percent in March 2015 to 29,921 vehicles.
Mercedes’ gain was led by an 81-percent sales surge by the CLA to 3,129 sales while C-class sales jumped 35 percent to 7,635 sales. Audi jumped 20 percent in the US to 17,102 vehicles in March while Infiniti just gained 0.2 percent 12,525 vehicles.
Other major luxury carmakers were down. Acura saw its sales drop 5.8 percent in March to 14,670 vehicles and Cadillac suffered a 6.8-percent dive to 13,756 units. Lincoln also dipped 3.1 percent to 8,695 vehicles in March.
For the first three months of 2015, BMW remains on the top position with 78,492 units sold, just over 300 vehicles ahead of Mercedes, which sold 78,156 vehicles in the January-March period. Lexus sold 77,180 vehicles in the first quarter of 2015.