BMW Wins 2014 US Luxury Car Sales Race

Source: BMW
The race for the top in U.S. luxury car sales was won by BMW in 2014. The automaker reported on Monday that it sold 339,738 BMW-branded vehicles last year. Second-place went to Mercedes-Benz, with total sales of 330,391 in 2014. Compared with 2013, BMW sales rose 9.8% and Mercedes sales rose 5.7%.

In the month of December, BMW sold 41,526 units, not including its MINI brand, compared with 34,009 unit sales for Mercedes, not including the company’s Sprinter vans and smart cars. The December push by BMW hiked sales about 11% year-over-year for the month, while Mercedes sales rose just 3% in December.

Mercedes outsold BMW in the full-size and compact SUV and crossover classes. The BMW X-class sold a total of 87,460 in 2014, up 15% compared with 2014. Mercedes sold more than 118,000 comparable vehicles in the year, for an increase of around 11%.

Mercedes nearly doubled sales of its entry-level CLA-class cars to 27,365 units for the year and also nearly doubled sales of its S-class sports car to more than 25,000 units. But the CLA-class may have poached sales from the pricier C-class cars, which dropped 15% or about 13,000 units. The high-end E-class also lost sales, down nearly 5% or more than 3,000 units.

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BMW also lost sales at the higher end of its price range, with 6- and 7-Series sales down 11.4% and 10.9%, respectively. The 3- and 4-Series cars got a boost of 19%, compared with 2013.

Overall, BMW sold 252,278 passenger cars in 2014, compared with around 212,000 passenger car sales at Mercedes. The market for luxury SUVs, compact SUVs and crossovers was strong in 2014, but not strong enough for Mercedes to overcome a deficit of 40,000 sales of passenger cars.

Among other luxury carmakers, Audi also reported on Monday that it sold 182,011 units in the United States in 2014, up 15.2% compared with 2013.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) reported that U.S. sales of its Cadillac luxury models came to 170,050 units in 2014, down 6.5% compared with 2013. Cadillac sales rose 47% in China, however, and worldwide sales rose 5.2%.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) also reported full-year U.S. sales of 94,474 for its Lincoln brand, a rise of 15.6% compared with 2013. The company’s SUVs saw a 35.7% sales jump year-over-year.

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