Barring a virtually impossible doubling of monthly U.S. sales, BMW will once again finish behind German rival Mercedes-Benz as the top sell luxury auto brand in the United States. Automakers will report December sales on January 3, but the final ranking is highly unlikely to change.
For the first 11 months of 2017, Mercedes has reported auto sales (excluding smart and trucks) of 302,043 retail units. BMW has sold 271,432 in the same period.
Monthly sales in November totaled 28,049 for BMW and 30,838 for Mercedes-Benz. Toyota’s Lexus division has sold 27,118 units in November and has sold a total of 269,668 for the year to date. Volkswagen’s Audi division sold 19,195 units in November to post a total of 199,534 units for the first 11 months of the year.
Of the four luxury brands, only Audi has posted year-to-date sales growth, up 6.7% and up 12.1% in November. Mercedes’s sales are down 1.7% year over year through November, while BMW sales have dropped 3.2% and Lexus sales are down 7%.
GM’s Cadillac luxury brand rang up 141,136 unit sales for the year through November, down 5% year over year, while Ford’s Lincoln brand has posted sales of 100,540, up 1.6% year over year.
With just one brand — Audi — showing a higher sales total in 2017 than in 2016, one has to wonder what 2018 will bring, especially because new car sales overall are expected to be more than 2% below 2017 totals.
Maybe luxury cars will defy that trend. After all, thanks to the recently passed Republican tax bill, the well-off will have more money in their pockets to spend on things like luxury cars. The luxury carmakers have certainly noticed that development and we should expect to see more advertising coming from the luxury market.