BMW Says SUVs Key to Retaining Sales Lead
Shortage of Hot SUVs Will Keep it From Luxury Crown
The German brands are once again on top in total U.S. luxury car sales. After more than a decade of dominance by Toyota’s premium brand Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have duked it out for the title of best-selling luxury brand. After holding the title for four of the last five years, BMW is admitting it will probably relinquish the title to arch-rival Mercedes-Benz on a shortage of popular SUV models that buyers are clamoring for, Automotive News reports.
BMW estimates that it would need at least 15,000 crossovers than are allocated to the U.S. market to retain the title. Most premium brands’ sales mixes are up to 45 percent light trucks, which include crossover and SUV models. BMW’s mix of crossovers and SUVs is projected to be between 39 and 40 percent for 2016. BMW’s North American CEO, Ludwig Willisch, said, “Don’t expect miracles [for 2016 sales results]”.
However, BMW’s fortunes may be improving in short order with the coming introduction of the X2 and X7. The X2 is a “coupe” derivative of the popular X1, and the X7 is the new top-of-the-line SUV flagship to be positioned above the X5. Most of BMW’s X crossover models are built at its plant in South Carolina and exported globally.
Source: Automotive News