November of 2018 marked the 13th consecutive month of growth for the BMW brand in the U.S., with sales expanding 1% compared with 2017 from 28,330 vehicles sold as opposed to 28,049 a year ago. For 2018 sans December, the BMW brand is up 1.9% in terms of U.S. deliveries, with sales of 276,657 vehicles having taken place during the first eleven months compared with 271,432 during the same period of 2017.
The most popular BMW models right now in order of sales volume are the X3, X5, 5 Series and 4 Series, with the latter benefitting from strong Gran Coupe demand, and all of the former being models that were introduced within the last two years. Nonetheless, the BMW passenger car line, made up of cars like the 3 Series, 5 Series, X1 and X2 among others is acting as a bit of a drag, with November sales of 16,511 units representing a decline of 8.8% compared with the 18,107 deliveries that took place last year. On a year-to-date scale, passenger car sales are down 2.5% from last year’s eleven month total of 180,621 to 176,037 for 2018 so far. Light truck sales are faring much better, with 11,819 units sold during November, an increase of 18.9% over the 9,942 sold during the same month last year. The picture looks good on the year-to-date scale for light trucks like the larger X models as well, with 100,620 deliveries accounting for growth of 10.8% compared to the same period of 2017 which saw unit sales of 90,811.
BMW Group Electrified deliveries were down approximately 15% for November, resulting from a decrease in deliveries from 2,725 a year ago to 2,314 last month. The decline can be partially attributed to the electrified model lineup temporarily shrinking from seven to five offerings, as BMW transitions to new generations of the X5 and 3 Series. As of this writing, customers desiring of a BMW or MINI with an electrified drivetrain can choose between the i3, i8 coupe or roadster, 530e, 740e, or MINI Countryman Hybrid. Plug-in hybrid versions of the new 3 Series and X5 will be hitting the market next year, with the all-new X5 xDrive45e already announced. Even with the decrease, BMW Group Electrified sales still comprised 7.7% of total U.S. deliveries for November, with the i3 logging a double-digit increase of 73.1% with 490 deliveries compared to 283 last year. The i8 carded triple-digit growth of 202.3%, resulting from 133 units sold as opposed to 44 last November.
MINI brand sales continue to affect overall BMW Group sales figures, which were conspicuously not published for November. Nonetheless, MINI USA recorded a decrease in sales of 12.6% for November, from 4,038 in 2017 to 3,528 this year.The most popular MINI model is the Countryman, which saw deliveries of 1,175 units during November. Year-to-date, the Countryman has carded growth of 23%, while the brand as a whole is down 3.8%.
Pre-owned sales were yet another mixed bag. On the BMW side, Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) numbers were down 12.4% at 8,509 compared to November of 2017, while all pre-owned deliveries amounted to 18,267, or 0.5% more than the 18,175 that occurred last year. For 2018, CPO sales are down 8.7% from 124,275 to 113,437, while total pre-owned sales are up 2.9% with 223,277 units moved compared to 217,044 sold over the same period of 2017.
Interestingly enough, MINI is positive in all four metrics; November 2018 CPO sales were up 30.5% with 971 vehicles delivered compared with 744 last year, while total pre-owned sales amounted to 2,198, 2.4% more than the 2,146 sold during November of 2017. Year-to-date, MINI CPO sales are up 24.6% resulting from 12,551 sales versus 10,076 for this time last year, while pre-owned deliveries as a whole of 29,406 units represents an increase of 6% over 2017’s cumulative total of 27,750. —Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]