Published April 5, 2012
U.S. sales of the South Carolina-built X5 sports activity vehicle climbed 41.3% in March, helping lead the BMW brand to a strong showing in the luxury car market.
Overall, the BMW brand notched an 18% increase in sales in March for a total of 23,940 units compared with 20,295 sold in March 2011, the company reported.
Year-to-date, BMW brand sales are up 17% for a total of 61,549 vehicles compared with 52,616 sold in the first three months of 2011, BMW added.
BMW reported that 2,841 X5 SAVs, built at the German automaker’s plant near Greer, were sold in March. Other models that recorded hefty sales increases included the 5 Series, up 21.4% to 5,451 units; the 6 Series, up 1,050% to 759 units; and the 7 Series, up 24.6% to 1,280 units.
Sales of the X3 rose 16.5% to 6,653 units for the quarter compared to 5,710 for a comparable period in 2011. The number of X5s sold was up 12.8% to 8,675 units compared to 7,694 vehicles for the first quarter of 2011. X6 sales slipped 0.4% in the first quarter of the year to 1,033 units from 1,037.
"The first quarter record affirmed our increasing sales momentum and shows that customers feel more confident about the future," said Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO, BMW of North America. "The year is still young and BMW alone will introduce in 2012 more new and refreshed models in the U.S. than it ever has before in any one year making us strongly optimistic about the months ahead."
For the first quarter, BMW recorded 36 more sales than Mercedes-Benz in the United States in the battle for the No. 1-selling luxury brand.
Mercedes reported its U.S. sales rose 7.7% to 23,134 units. Toyota's Lexus, which had been the No. 1 luxury car brand until BMW won the title in 2011, reported a 2.6% drop in sales to 20,140 in the first quarter.