It’s become clear that 2018 will not reach the same levels as 2017 when it comes to sales growth, but keeping things in positive territory under trying market conditions is still something to be proud of, and any level of growth is better than the alternative. During the month of September, BMW Group once again managed to post positive overall numbers. Although things took a slight breather during August with overall group sales declining slightly, brand sales were still up. Last month, measures for both ended in positive territory, with the BMW Group recording growth of 0.2% from 29,369 units sold compared to 29,307 last September which brings year-to-date numbers for the first three quarters of 2018 to 225,065 total units, or an increase of 2.2% over 2017’s figure of 220,175.
The BMW brand continued to move in the right direction as well, carding greater growth than was posted during August. During September, brand sales totaled 25,908 or 1.3% more than the same period last year which saw deliveries of 25,571 units. BMW X models experienced double digit 28.5% growth resulting from 9,171 units sold, up significantly from 7,136 delivered last September. Passenger car sales remained down, but this is to be expected with a staple model like the 3 Series on the cusp of a generational update. This segment was negative by double-digits for August, but things weren’t quite as severe during September, with 16,767 cars sold compared with 18,435 last year, or a decline of 9.2%. Still, the tides continue to turn in favor of the upright X models, with them alone accounting for 52% of sales. The third-gen X3 continues its barnstorming success as the top selling BMW model, and the all-new X5 will go on sale for the first time in November. For the year so far, 144,204 passenger cars have been delivered versus 145,945 during 2017, a decrease of 1.2%. For light trucks (X model SAVs, SACs, etc) an expansion of 8.9% has taken place, calculated from 80,861 units sold during 2018 compared with 74,230 from last year.
BMW Group Electrified is doing just fine as well, posting 4.3% growth resulting from unit sales of 1,858 during September of 2018, up from 1,781 last year. Looking at total sales, electrified-drivetrain models from BMW and MINI in the form of i, iPerformance and MINI Electric accounted for 6.7% of all units. Current offerings total seven, and include the i3, i8, 330e, 530e, 740e (pictured above), MINI Countryman PHEV and X5 xDrive 40e (pictured below), which will soon be replaced by the G05 X5 xDrive 45e.
MINI sales experienced yet another decline, this time a particularly deep one of 7.4% translated from selling fewer units than the 3,736 delivered during September of 2017. The MINI Countryman remains the most popular model though, with growth for it expanding 1.5% from sales of 1,411 for the month.
The pre-owned market was a bit of a mixed bag, but nonetheless contained some solid gains. BMW Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) sales decreased 7% to 9,857, but conventional pre-owned sales totaled 20,220, an increase of 2.7%. MINI experienced double-digit increases across the board; 1,193 CPO sales equated to an expansion of 40.9% over September of 2017, while regular pre-owned sales jumped 13.7% resulting from deliveries of 2,773 vehicles. Together, these figures bring BMW Group pre-owned sales to a total of 22,128 during September, or a 3.9% increase, while year-to-date numbers are 204,129, or growth of 3.5%.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]