U.S. sales of luxury vehicles slid 1.6 percent in April to 159,793, driven by big declines at the top three brands. BMW of North America reported a decline of 9.3 percent in sales, mostly due to the limited availability of key models. Mercedes-Benz’s sales fell 7.9 percent, while Toyota’s luxury arm – Lexus – saw the worst decline in April – 11 percent.
Mercedes-Benz increased its 2017 luxury sales lead, selling 26,932 vehicles in April, excluding commercial vans. Through the first four months of 2017, the brand’s luxury sales are 1 percent higher than 2016.
“While we’re outpacing last year, we saw some challenges in April due to limits on availability of some of our most popular model lines (GLC, CLA and GLA) during model changeover,” Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler said in a statement. “That said, we are looking for another record year.”
The C class, GLE and E class were the brand’s volume leaders in April.
BMW is now down 1.3 percent with sales of 94,306 through April.
“For BMW, tight supply of key models had a strong effect in April,” BMW of North America CEO Bernhard Kuhnt said in a statement. “Our very popular new 5 Series is still ramping up production as the latest variants are making their way to our dealerships. Our sports activity vehicles are still in high demand with the X1 and X3 turning in good results.”
BMW noted big increases in April for the X3, up 32 percent; the X1, up 29 percent; and the 7 series, up 14 percent.
For Lexus, April was a rough month and now the Japanese brand is down 15 percent overall.
“Thanks to continued consumer interest in luxury utility vehicles and a healthy inventory, NX achieved its best April yet,” Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken said in a statement. “Moving into May, we’re excited to launch our stunning new flagship coupe, the LC 500 and LC 500h.”
The other luxury brands with drops in April were Acura with a 13 percent decline and Lincoln with a 0.9 percent drop.
Cadillac’s sales were up 9.5 percent; Jaguar, up 19 percent; and Volvo, up 15 percent.