October was another bifurcated month when it came to sales figures for BMW in the U.S., with BMW brand sales up marginally at 0.2% from sales of 23,262 units over last year’s number of 23,208, but group sales down 1.7% with 26,428 units delivered, a few hundred less than 26,877 sold during October of 2017. For the year thus far, brand sales remain up by 2%, with 248,327 deliveries besting last year’s comparable total by a comfortable margin. Even with continued and more recent drag, group sales are still positive on a year-to-date basis as well, but only by 1.4%.
It wasn’t all bad news though, as X line models such as the X3, X2 and others continue their forward march, carding double-digit growth of 19.6% for the month, from sales of 7,940 units. For the eighth month in the row, the X3 is the most popular of any BMW model, and as a whole, X models account for 47% of total vehicle sales volume. On a year-to-date scale, they’re up 9.8% with 88,801 delivered, and the fourth-generation X5, scheduled to become available during November is expected to stoke things further. Conventional passenger car sales aren’t doing so great, with a 7.5% fewer sold this October compared with last, or more specifically, 15,322 units versus 16,569. On a grander scale for 2018 so far, BMW passenger cars are down 1.8%, with 159,526 deliveries.
BMW Group Electrified is still in good shape as well. Even though unit sales for October of 1,836 were down 8.5% compared to last year, BMW and MINI models with electrified drivetrains continue to grow in terms of their share of total sales. For October, models with electrified drivetrains were responsible for 7.4% of total sales. As of this writing, the BMW Group offers a total of seven electrified models in the U.S., including the 330e, 530e, 740e, i3, i8 and Countryman PHEV, in addition to the current-generation X5 xDrive 40e, which will soon be replaced by the X5 xDrive 45e.
Speaking of MINI, the brand alone seems to be among the largest drags on overall group sales. For October, the brand recorded yet another painful reduction in sales, this time of 13.5% resulting from 3,166 units sold compared to 3,669 during the same period last year. The Countryman continues to be the most popular model, with 1,070 sold during October, and year-to-date sales are up an impressive 29.1%. For the first ten months of 2018, total MINI sales are down 2.9%.
Certified pre-owned and conventional pre-owned figures were also mixed. BMW CPO sales were down 8.9% from last October, but total BMW pre-owned sales, including non-certified models, were up 2.5%. For the year so far, the numbers almost mirror each other; 8.4% fewer CPO sales have taken place, but overall used deliveries are up 3.1%. MINI, oddly enough, is positive on all fronts, logging a 30% increase in CPO deliveries during October, and 6.5% growth for regular used-car sales, along with similar numbers for 2018 cumulatively. BMW Group as a whole witnessed a contraction of 6.2% for the month of October as far as CPO sales are concerned, while total pre-owned deliveries were up 2.9%. On the year-to-date scale, the Group is down 6% in terms of CPO units moved, while up 3.5% for total pre-owned sales.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]