In the last few years, the luxury car sales war has been a two-horse battle between Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The two German manufacturers have been trading blows not only in the U.S. but also when it comes to worldwide figures. With the wider and newer portfolio it has at its disposal, Mercedes claimed a couple of wins in 2017 so far, but BMW seems to be showing signs of improvement.
Over the last month, the Bavarian company managed to surpass its Stuttgart-based rival, claiming its first win so far this year. The reason? Not the 5 Series as you may think but rather the older and more tried-and-tested BMW X3 and X5 models. According to sales figures published by the accountants over in New Jersey, deliveries of the two SUVs recorded increases of 43 percent for the X3 and 35 percent for the X5.
In total, over the course of March, 31,015 vehicles wearing the blue and white roundel on their noses have been sold and delivered, outpacing the silver-arrows rivals by 1,900 units. Of course, figures don’t include MINI sales or anything sold by Daimler as part of its truck division or Smart sub-brand.
The results are even more surprising as BMW managed to keep the sales of its sedans rather flat in a market where anything that’s not riding high (read SUV) is just not selling.
“Our new BMW 5 series is just breaking into what is a difficult market for sedans but orders are solid,” Bernhard Kuhnt, CEO of BMW North America, said earlier this month, talking about the challenges in this segment. “With two more variants on their way, we are optimistic for the months ahead.”
However, as BMW claimed one win so far, on the year-to-date total, Mercedes-Benz is still leading. Sure, the gap dropped to just 7,500 units after the sales recorded in March were added on but the Bavarians are still lagging behind. To address the concerns formulated by shareholders and to make sure the brand doesn’t fall behind, the current CEO, Mr. Harald Krueger said recently that the group is about to reveal a fully-pledged offensive made up of no less than 40 new models over the next two years. And you can bet most of them will be some sort of SUV.