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BMW sales in U.S. top Toyota’s Lexus for third straight month

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BMW sales in U.S. top Toyota’s Lexus for third straight month

Automotive News Europe -- September 2, 2010 10:55 CET

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(Bloomberg) -- BMW AG brand increased U.S. sales 1.6 percent in August and beat Lexus nameplate as the top U.S. luxury brand for the third straight month.

BMW sales rose to 19,540 as deliveries of its 1 series gained 53 percent and the 7 series climbed 42 percent, BMW said. Lexus deliveries decreased 15 percent to 19,465.

“We are seeing a slowdown in the market and do not expect the second half of the year to be as strong as the first half,” Jim O’Donnell, BMW of North America president, said in a statement. “Despite this, building momentum throughout the year and narrowing the gap with our competitors is still our plan.”

Lexus had record recalls in the past year, including some of its LS 460 cars and GX 460 sport-utility vehicles, and is facing competition from revamped models by BMW and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz. BMW, which beat Lexus in June and July, has set a goal of becoming the best-selling U.S. luxury brand by 2012.

“The new product is just so important for the entire market but especially for the luxury segment where it is much more discerning between old versus new,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst with Edmunds.com, a California- based provider of industry data.

Mercedes sales increased 10 percent to 18,826 vehicles, Daimler said. The gain was helped by the revamped E-class, which rose 26 percent for the month and has gained 71 percent for the year through August.

Lexus remains the U.S. luxury sales leader for the year, with 145,490 deliveries through August, an 11 percent increase. Mercedes sales have gained 18 percent to 139,867, and BMW’s U.S. sales increased 7.8 percent to 139,236 vehicles.

Close race

“That race is very close this year, much closer than in years past,” Caldwell said.

Luxury car sales are benefiting from a partial recovery in wealthier households and look healthier compared with a year earlier, Paul Ballew, chief economist for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. in Columbus, Ohio, said in a telephone interview.

“The luxury end got decapitated in the downturn, so you’re seeing a recovery from subdued levels,” Ballew said.

Deliveries at General Motors Co.’s luxury division, Cadillac, gained 83 percent from last year as sales of the redesigned SRX sport-utility vehicle more than tripled.

Ford Motor Co. sold 6,428 of its Lincoln luxury vehicles in August, a 9.4 percent increase from a year earlier.

Volkswagen’s brands

United States deliveries of Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand rose 14 percent to 9,182 vehicles. Porsche SE, which is merging with Volkswagen, reported a 33 percent sales increase to 2,032 vehicles.

Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar posted a 62 percent gain in sales to 1,414 vehicles. The company’s Land Rover division sold 2,544 vehicles for the month, an 11 percent increase.

Honda Motor Co.’s Acura luxury brand sales rose 20 percent to 11,534 vehicles.

Nissan Motor Co. reported Infiniti deliveries of 9,428 vehicles, 22 percent higher than a year earlier.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100902/ANE/100909974/1292#ixzz0yNkuqmFA

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BMW JOSTLING LEXUS FOR TOP SPOT IS U.S. LUXURY MARKET

By Drew Johnson

Lexus has long been America’s favorite luxury brand, but that could change by the end of the year as BMW continues to see strong U.S. sales. BMW’s U.S. sales increased 1.6 percent in August, marking the brand’s third straight month atop the luxury charts.

Thanks to strong sales of its 1-Series and 7-Series models, BMW’s U.S. sales increased 1.6 percent in August, totaling 19,540 units. Lexus, on the other hand, saw its sales slide 15 percent during the month, resulting in 19,465 units sold.

The luxury market will likely cool for the remainder of the year, but BMW is confident it can keep its current momentum rolling. “We are seeing a slowdown in the market and do not expect the second half of the year to be as strong as the first half,” Jim O’Donnell, BMW of North America president, said in a statement. “Despite this, building momentum throughout the year and narrowing the gap with our competitors is still our plan.”

Lexus remains the best-selling luxury brand in the United States – with 145,490 sales so far this year – but BMW is quickly closing the gap with total sales of 139,236. Mercedes-Benz has tallied 144,753 sales so far this year, but that figure is a bit misleading as it includes sales of its mostly fleet Sprinter van.

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/bmw-jostling-lexus-for-top-spot-is-u-s-luxury-market.html

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