BMW brand sales were down 4.8% during the month of January, with company executives attributing what is being referred to as an expected decline to model changeovers for vehicles like the 3 Series. The automaker’s outlook for 2019 remains positive though according to BMW NA President and CEO Bernhard Kuhnt who mentions a total of four all-new models scheduled for market launch during the first quarter of 2019.
The 4.8% decrease came as a result of 18,102 deliveries occurring during January compared with 19,016 a year earlier. The passenger car segment, a term that encompasses most current BMW models including the X1 and X2, witnessed a decrease of 8.7%, with 11,910 unit sales having taken place a year ago, versus 10,874 during last month. The light truck classification, which covers the entire X model range from the X3 to the X6 and soon the X7, posted an increase of 1.7%, resulting from 7,228 deliveries during the first month of 2018 against 7,106 last year.
The most popular BMW models in January were the X3 and X5, while the Four and 5 Series also did well, claiming the top two spots in the passenger car classification. X3 sales were up 6.1% with 3,135 deliveries compared to 2,954 last year, while the X5, which actually carded a decrease of 4.3% from last January’s total of 3,230, was still very much in demand with 3,092 sold last month. 5 Series deliveries were up 49.8%, thanks to unit sales of 3,679 compared to 2,456 twelve months prior. The 4 Series saw sales increase 79.3%, with deliveries expanding from 1,585 during January of 2018 to 2,842 for January of 2019.
In addition to continued growth of the third-generation X3 and all-new fourth-generation X5, BMW is also anticipating the upcoming seventh-generation 3 Series to be a growth catalyst. Some other models many are excited about include the first-ever X7, which is expected to really shake up the full-size luxury SUV market, along with the 8 Series convertible and Z4. A few others on our radar include the 8 Series Gran Coupe, which is expected to come in M8 form as well. Looking at all of the recent changes over the past 24 months in combination with what’s to come, BMW is said to be in the midst of an aggressive product offensive, with several all-new generations of core models being introduced.
MINI brand sales came in 16.3% lower than last year, with 2,937 sold then against 2,457 this year thus far. A few models posted growth though, such as the Cooper and Cooper S four-door and convertible. Pre-owned sales for MINI of 2,035 during January of 2019 represented a decrease of 0.2% from the 2,039 sold a year ago. On the Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) side, sales were up 19.6%, thanks to deliveries of 859 compared to 718.
BMW Pre-owned sales decreased 12.4% from 9,113 to 7,984, while CPO deliveries expanded 1.2% from 16,970 to 17,173.
With MINI sales in the equation, January North American BMW Group sales came in 6.3% lower than last year with the total decreasing from 21,953 to 20,559.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]