BMW’s pledge to regain the number one spot in the luxury segment sales is seemingly going according to plan, as the Bavarians managed to outsell their arch-rivals for the first time in 2018 last month. BMW reported a small 1 percent increase in brand sales and while that may seem disappointing to some, it was considerably better than what Mercedes-Benz reported, with a drop of 2.4 percent.
The numbers came through yesterday and immediately analysts from the industry took a closer look, especially since troubling times lay ahead. President Trump announced earlier this year that a trade tariff might be imposed on EU-sourced vehicles which would make them considerably more expensive in the future. Combine that with the slight decrease in sales recorded by some manufacturers these days and it’s pretty easy to see how unnerving the future looks like from the shoes of Mr. Kruger.
On a year-to-date basis Mercedes is still leading but the gap is shrinking, the two German companies now being separated by around 5,000 units after the first quarter. The drop in sales for the Stuttgart-based manufacturer had a lot to do with the lack of orders for its best-seller, the C-Class. Demand for the sedan plunged while BMW saw a constant increase in demand for its 5 Series model.
Leaving aside the two German giants, the luxury segment in the US recorded an overall growth over the course of March. Sales went up by 3.6 percent to 190,262 units. Audi showed a growth of 7.4 percent last month while Lexus dropped 3.2 percent as its sedan deliveries showed a 13 percent decrease.