Toyota’s Lexus unit is leading the US premium sales in March, but all the top three contenders are on a downward trend.
All three major premium sellers in the United States had a rough March, posting declines in their monthly figures. Lexus managed to come on top of the luxury market for the second consecutive march, posting sales of 30,198 units, but down 2.8 percent from a year earlier. The drop could not be stopped, even if brand’s NX compact SUV was up nearly 25 percent for the month, with 46 percent for the LX. As for the year-to-date figures, Lexus sold 74,221 vehicles, closing in on Mercedes-Benz’s first-quarter lead. “Lexus continues to be well-positioned with our fresh LUV lineup to meet the increasing customer demand for crossover and utility vehicles in the luxury market,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager.
Sales of BMW brand vehicles also decreased in March, but with a more significant 12.5 percent fall, to a total of 30,033 compared to 34,310 vehicles sold in March, 2015. Year-to-date, BMW is down 10.0 percent with 70,613 compared to 78,492 delivered in the first three months of last year. “It’s been a tumultuous first quarter of the year for business in the US with plenty of volatility even in the premium vehicle segment,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. “The desire for premium Sports Activity Vehicles continues accelerating at a strong pace in the US and I’m very pleased that our SAV plant in South Carolina will make another production increase in the months ahead to help us satisfy the ever-growing demand for our X models.”
Mercedes-Benz USA said its March sales reached 28,164 units, which closed the first-quarter at 75,769 vehicles, down 3 percent from last year. The brand’s volume leaders in March included the C-Class, GLC and GLE model lines. The C-Class took the lead at 6,658, followed by the new GLC sales of 4,871, while the new GLE rounded out the top three with 4,730 units sold.