Dec 032014
 
image courtesy of bimmerfest.com

image courtesy of bimmerfest.com

BMW November sales numbers for North America have just been released. Month to month sales were down 2.3 percent, though year to year BMW sales are still up 9.7 percent. It’s been a good year for BMW but sales have definitely cooled since I looked at the March and May sales numbers.

Looking behind the total number to model sales gives a better idea of what’s moving out of showroom floors. Here are those totals from November:

Source: BMW NA press release

Source: BMW NA press release

What these numbers tell us is BMW truck sales have cooled off from their torrid pace earlier in the year. In May BMW truck sales were up 25.5 percent over 2013, and that was not sustainable. The X3 in particular was flying out of dealerships earlier in the year, and it’s still up over 15 percent from last year’s sales.

Increasingly BMW sales overall are dictated by how their light trucks are selling. It’s no coincidence that to date in 2014 truck sales are up 11 percent, and overall BMW total sales are up almost 10 percent.

Looking at the cars, back in April I was a little too bullish on 6-Series sales. While BMW is selling a lot more of them than a few years ago, sales this year have totally reversed direction after a huge March. Sales are now down 7.6 percent year to year, and the total number of 8,023 vehicles is no where close to volume models like the 5-Series and the 3-Series.

The compact SUV/hot hatch X-1 is another surprising reversal. Earlier in the year it was selling at a pace 50 percent above 2103, and now it’s down 15 percent. Luckily for BMW sales of the breadwinner 3-Series have been strong, up 19.4 percent over 2013. (The two door is now called the 4-Series, but sales numbers are combined for comparison purposes.)

December should be a frenetic month at BMW dealerships. Not only is it holiday season, but BMW and it’s bete noire Mercedes-Benz are again neck and neck for the top spot in European luxury sales. Both will pull out all the stops for 2014 bragging rights, which is something to keep in mind if you’re shopping this month. And they both need to watch Audi — the Volkswagen subsidiary’s sales were up 22 percent in November.

UPDATE 1/6 – BMW sales ended up 9.8 percent over 2013, for a second straight record year. The company beat out Mercedes for the top luxury spot in NA by about 9,000 vehicles. Audi sales were up 15.2 percent.


 

 

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