Bloomberg News

BMW Fails to Keep Lead Over Mercedes-Benz in January U.S. Sales

February 02, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW failed to keep its lead over Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz in January, getting some payback after December’s sales push to seal its place as 2011’s top-selling U.S. luxury brand.

BMW deliveries rose 3.1 percent to 16,405 last month in the U.S., the Munich-based automaker said yesterday in a statement. Mercedes sales rose 24 percent to 20,306, as deliveries of its C-Class model surged 56 percent, the automaker said. Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus brand deliveries declined 4.6 percent to 12,274 vehicles.

“BMW, perhaps, was a bit more aggressive in terms of marketing and incentive efforts in December which may have pulled ahead some of their sales from January,” Jesse Toprak, a Santa Monica, California-based analyst with TrueCar.com, said in a telephone interview.

BMW deliveries, helped by the redesigned X3 sport-utility vehicle, rose 13 percent last year to 247,907, allowing it to claim the title as the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S. after Lexus held the spot for 11 years. Lexus, hurt by production shortages following the March earthquake in Japan, saw deliveries fall 13 percent last year to 198,552, the Toyota City, Japan-based brand has said.

Mercedes, helped by the updated C-Class sedan and new coupe, finished 2011 in second place behind BMW with 2,715 fewer sales. The Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker’s sales rose 13 percent in the U.S. last year to 245,192.

The results exclude Daimler’s Sprinter vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, which aren’t luxury vehicles.

Sales of BMW’s 3 Series rose 16 percent to 6,698 cars in January, as the automaker prepares to bring a redesigned version to showrooms next month.

Audi, Cadillac

U.S. deliveries of Audi, the premium brand of Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen AG, rose 20 percent to 9,354 vehicles last month, the company said in a statement. It was the most sales Audi has had in January, the automaker said.

General Motors Co.’s Cadillac luxury brand sales fell 29 percent last month to 8,924, according to the Detroit-based automaker.

Porsche AG, the Stuttgart-based automaker, sold 2,550 vehicles in the U.S., a 6.3 percent increase, the company said in a statement. Sales of the 911 model, to be replaced by a new version next month, rose 56 percent to 681 cars.

Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti sold 6,796 vehicles, 8.2 percent less than a year earlier, the Yokohama, Japan-based company, said in a statement.

Honda Motor Co., based in Tokyo, said in a statement that sales for its Acura brand rose 5.3 percent to 8,381 last month.

Ford Motor Co. sold 5,121 Lincolns in January, a 7.9 percent decrease from a year earlier, according to a statement from the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker.

Land Rover deliveries rose 41 percent to 3,205, while Jaguar sales were up 5 percent to 985, the brands, owned by Mumbai-based Tata Motors Ltd, said in an e-mail.

--Editors: Jamie Butters, Bill Koenig

To contact the reporter on this story: Keith Naughton in Southfield, Michigan at knaughton3@bloomberg.net; Tim Higgins in Southfield, Michigan at thiggins21@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net


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