North American BMW sales continued to expand during the second quarter, thanks to a year-over-year increase of 88.3% from 56,245 units to 105,901. The numbers are skewed higher thanks to the pandemic-prompted lockdowns much of the world was subject to a year ago, but BMW notes that the second-quarter performance of 2021 is also outpacing the same period in 2019 by 15%. Year-to-date, BMW NA sales have increased 51.8%, from 120,937 units in 2020 to 183,6149 in 2021, and 8.9% over the first half of 2019, indicating that the automaker is back on track for pre-pandemic growth.
The BMW and Mini brands saw similar gains, with the former experiencing sales growth of 89.5% overall from 50,957 units to 96,561, and the latter seeing an expansion of 76.6% from 5,288 to 9,340. Both brands are also up by similar margins year-to-date, with the BMW brand witnessing an expansion of 52.2% from unit sales of 110,412 to 167,994, and the Mini brand 48.5%, from 10,525 to 15,625.
“Thanks to the continued commitment of our dealers, and the strength of our production network, we have met the robust customer demand for BMW vehicles, and achieved a record number of consumer deliveries in the quarter,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, president and CEO, BMW of North America. “The positive comparison to 2019 proves the growth and strength of our business.”
According to BMW, the line of Sports Activity Vehicles (SAVs) accounted for 60% of the quarter’s sales. BMW light trucks, a term which encompasses the X3 through the X7, which are built at BMW Plant Spartanburg, saw sales increase 101.4% from 24,622 to 49,588 during the second quarter, and are also up 60.3% year-to-date, from 53,495 to 85,759. The remainder of the model lineup, which is classified as passenger cars, saw sales grow 78.4% during the second quarter, from 26,335 units to 46,973, along with a 44.5% increase year-to-date, from 56,917 to 82,235.
Much like the last two years, the X3 was—by a strong margin—the most popular BMW model, thanks to unit sales of 21,285, an increase of 125% over the 9,460 sold during the second quarter of 2020. X3 sales are up 80.7% for the year, thanks to deliveries growing from 20,074 to 36,273, and the model has just been given its lifecycle impulse (LCI) for the 2022 model year. The second-most popular BMW model is the X5, of which 16,544 were sold during the second quarter, an increase of 94.2% over the 8,517 delivered a year ago. Sales of the X5 are up 52.7% for year, from 19,155 units to 29,244, and BMW is currently using the proven platform as a testbed for a fuel-cell electric vehicle concept called the i Hydrogen Next.
The still-excellent BMW 3 Series ranked as the third most popular model sold by the brand in North America during the second quarter, thanks to deliveries of 14,350 units, an increase of 86% over the 7,713 which took place the same period of last year. BMW 3 Series sales are up 29.7% year-to-date, from 18,326 to 23,776. Other BMW models of note include the redesigned 4 Series, which posted the largest percentage gain of the entire portfolio. Sales of the BMW 4 Series grew 340.2% during the second quarter, from 1,760 to 7,748 units, and are up 216.7% year-to-date, from 3,957 to 12,533, lending credence to BMW claiming customers actually prefer the new design language.
Sales of the BMW 2 Series stagnated during the second quarter, with deliveries growing just 6% from 3,804 units to 4,033, roughly eighteen months removed from the introduction of the 2 Series Gran Coupé. Deliveries of the 2 Series still expanded 67.5% from 5,576 to 9,340 year-to-date though, and we’re on the eve of the unveiling of the second-generation 2 Series coupe. Speaking of the 2 Series Gran Coupé, the X1, which shares a platform with the front-wheel-drive sedan, is having a good year. Second-quarter X1 sales are up 162.4% thanks to deliveries expanding from 2,307 to 6,054, and the model is also up 55.6% year-to-date, with sales growing from 6,440 to 10,022.
It looks like the i3 is going to be dropped from the U.S. BMW model lineup this month ahead of the market introduction of the i4 and iX next year, and according to BMWBlog, customers experienced difficulty when trying to secure a production slot before the model signs off. Consequently, i3 sales were up 172% during the second quarter, with 511 deliveries occurring in comparison with the 188 during the same period last year, while sales have also increased 238% for the year, from 252 to 851.
All Mini models posted strong gains during the second quarter, with the margins ranging from 60% at the low end for the Cooper convertible, to 93.7% for the Countryman. The entire Mini model portfolio is also up year-to-date, ranging from the Clubman, which posted a gain of 21.5%, to the Countryman, which is the leader at 61.2%. Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Mini sales totaled 3,384 during the second quarter, translating to an increase of 57.2% year-over-year, and amounted to 12,801 for the first half of 2021, an 18.1% increase.
Second-quarter BMW CPO sales of 32,363 represent a year-over-year increase of 21.1%, while the year-to-date total of 60,515 translates to growth of 11.5%.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]