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The sales race between Germany’s two luxury giants, Mercedes and BMW, is close enough that a single good or bad month can put either of the two behind the other and cause irreparable damage to its attempt to win a sales crown. While Mercedes has beaten BMW in the race over the past three years, BMW has been slowly carving out a lead for itself in the US, one of the most important markets for both companies.
And that trend continues, as BMW has just reported that it’s edged out an even bigger lead over Mercedes at the conclusion of the first half of 2019, according to Bloomberg.
In June alone, BMW deliveries increased by 7.5%, to 31,627, thanks in no small part to the success of the new X3 and X7 SUVs as well as the 3 Series and 5 Series model lines. That puts BMW’s US sales up by 2%, enabling it to carve out a 9,000-unit lead over Mercedes so far this year.
Meanwhile, Mercedes’ best-sellers were the GLE, GLC, and C-Class, though deliveries plunged more than 30% for the C-Class and GLS SUV. Sluggish sales of the older GLS (the new one is just hitting dealerships) and the C-Class likely helped the new X7 and 3 Series gain an edge in their respective segments. It also signals the need for top-tier luxury automakers to keep their lineups as fresh as possible.
"June sales in total were near record levels as our customers remain enthusiastic about our Sports Activity Vehicles, as well as our sedans – notably the 3 and 5 Series,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, president and CEO, BMW of North America. "We’re very pleased with our first half results and, despite the increasingly competitive marketplace, look toward the second half of the year with optimism.”
BMW’s uptick in US sales, however, does not mean Mercedes will lose the global sales race. Both companies are keeping their feet firmly on the gas by taking the fight to the entry-level segment, with BMW set to unveil the 2 Series Gran Coupe while Mercedes is on the cusp of bringing the new GLB to dealerships.