U.S. BMW sales were once again mixed during February, with the brand itself posting a slight gain of 0.3% from 23,508 deliveries last year to 23,558 last month, an increase of just 50 vehicles, while BMW North America, LLC sales, a term which encompasses the MINI brand, were down 1.3% thanks to 26,237 unit sales compared to 26,573 last year. Year-to-date, the BMW brand is down 2% owing to sales of 42,534 a year ago and 41,660 this time around, while NA has carded a decrease of 3.6%, thanks to 46,796 delivers thus far, compared to 48,526 last year. As noted a month ago, BMW brass are attributing the flat and decreasing sales to substantial model changeover, with important cars like the 3 Series and X5 currently in a time of transition. The 3 Series is starting to hit the streets, but only in small numbers, while the very first X5 SAVs have also just recently begun arriving at large-volume dealers across the U.S.
In addition to important, bread and butter cars like the Three and X5, some other exciting new models like the Z4, droptop 8 Series and X7 will be starting to arrive this month as well.
During February and for the foreseeable future, models like the X3 and X5, both of which happen to be manufactured at BMW Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina, are continuing to be the catalysts for BMW sales growth in the U.S., while as a whole, the entire range from X1 to X6 accounted for 55.5% of deliveries during February. This translated to BMW light truck sales (X3 through X6) that grew 21.7% during February from 8,525 to 10,387, while passengers car sales, a term that includes all of the sedans, coupes and convertibles, along with the the X1 and X2, were down 12% from 14,983 deliveries a year ago, to 13,180 last month.
The best selling BMW models were, in order of total sales, the X3, with 4,706 units delivered, the X5 with 4,360, the 5 Series with 2,976, and the 4 Series (mostly Gran Coupes, we assume), with 2,685. In terms of growth, it was the X3, 7 Series, 4 Series and X6 that lead the way, all of averaged an expansion of over 30% during last month.
BMW Group Electrified sales took a rather uncharacteristic nosedive during February, posting a decrease of 42.7% resulting from 1,936 deliveries a month ago to 1,110 for this year. Again, generational refreshes are largely attributed as being responsible for the contraction in unit sales, with the electrified-drivetrain lineup currently being comprised of only five vehicles, while seven were offered for much of last year. As of this writing, currently available models include the BMW i3, i8 coupe and roadster, and 530e, along with the MINI Countryman PHEV. Before long, hybrid versions of the new 3 Series, 7 Series and X5 will be joining the ranks once again.
MINI brand sales decreased 12.6% during February, calculated from a total of 3,065 delivered during last year and 2,679 this year, and for 2019 so far, deliveries are down 14.4%, from 6,002 to 5,136. MINI Pre-owned sales totaled 2,181 this year, contracting 2.8% from February of 2018, while 918 Certified Pre-owned (CPO) deliveries occurred, an increase of 6.7% from the same period a year prior. Year-to-date, MINI CPO sales are up 12.6%, from 1,578 units to 1,777, while total Pre-owned sales are down 1.6%, from 4,283 to 4,216.
The BMW Pre-owned total was 18,643, which represents an increase of 4% over February of 2018, while CPO sales were reported to be 8,736, a decline of 8.7% from the same period last year. For 2019 so far, BMW pre-owned deliveries add up to 35,816, an increase of 2.6% over last year’s total of 34,900. On the CPO side, BMW is down 10.5% year-to-date, with 18,681 moved during the same period of 2018 compared to 16,720 now.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]