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European Automakers’ US Sales Fared Well in July

Mercedes-Benz still the luxury sales leader.

by on Aug.02, 2018

Mercedes-Benz saw sales fall more than 20% in July, but much of that was attributed to a computer problem during the company's busiest week.

With the threat of steep tariffs hanging over their heads, European carmakers enjoyed positive sales in July even though one of the leaders, Mercedes Benz, struggled a bit.

Mercedes-Benz USA reported July sales of 20,034, a decrease of 22.7% from July 2017 as archrival BMW sold more vehicles. Lexus appears to hold the lead in luxury segment with sales of 25,403 units, which dropped 12.1% on a volume basis.

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Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz Vans reported July sales increased 5.9%. On a year-to-date basis, sales of Mercedes-Benz vehicles totaled 178,882, giving it the lead in luxury vehicle sales for 2018.

“July sales were impacted by a number of factors, resulting in a temporary dealer inventory shortfall relating to our changeover to model year 2019,” said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of MBUSA.

(Mercedes aims to “elevate” entry luxury segment with launch of new A-Class. Click Here for more.)

“We also experienced a mainframe outage which affected our dealers’ ability to conduct business during the busiest week of the month. The IT recovery is nearing completion, and we are working closely with our customers and dealers to help alleviate any inconvenience resulting from the model year 2019 delays. While we expect to replenish our inventory levels in the fall, these developments will likely have a negative impact on sales in the coming months,” he said.

BMW's X3 is the company's top-selling vehicle in the United States this year.

Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 0.1% in July 2018 for a total of 21,982, compared to 21,965 vehicles sold in July 2017. Year-to-date, the BMW brand is up 2.5% on sales vehicles of 175,368 compared to 171,051 sold in the first seven months of 2017.

“The third quarter is making a good start overall for BMW Group with the BMW brand posting its ninth straight month of sales increases and our Sports Activity Vehicles once more leading the way,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, president and CEO, BMW of North America.

BMW’s line-up of Sports Activity Vehicles accounted for 49.6% of BMW brand sales in July 2018. Most notably, the BMW X3 was the top-selling BMW model in the U.S. in the month of July and calendar year to date.

Porsche Cars North America announced July retail sales of 4,020 vehicles, which represents year-over-year growth of 3.1%. It is the seventh month in a row where sales have outstripped the previous year’s period.

“Porsche U.S. sales are now up 6.3% for the first seven months of the year to 33,441 vehicles,” said Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of PCNA. “Two forces are at work: healthy demand for Porsche sports cars, and the expert customer experience provided by our 189 U.S. dealers and their thousands of employees.”

Volvo Car saw a 37% increase in sales in July, led by its sport-utility vehicles.

(Click Here for the story about BMW M models being electric by 2030.)

Audi sales also continued to increase as sales grew by 2.1%. So far this year, Audi sales are up 4.4%.

Jaguar Land Rover posted mixed results for July. Land Rover had its best ever July as its sales increased by of 5%; Jaguar sales dropped 41%. Overall, Jaguar Land Rover reported July U.S. sales dropped 11% from July 2017.

“We’re pleased to see Land Rover finish July with another record–setting sales month,” said Joe Eberhardt, president and CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. “The popularity of our new SUVs, the Range Rover Velar, Land Rover Discovery and Jaguar F-Pace continue to drive sales momentum and will be joined by the highly anticipated I-Pace later this year.”

Volvo Car USA reported U.S. sales increased of 24% from the same period last year. Year-to-date VCUSA has sold 56,244 vehicles, an increase of 37% from the previous year.

“Volvo’s strength in SUVs has fueled double digit growth for the past seven consecutive months,” said Anders Gustafsson, president and CEO, Volvo Car USA. “Volvo is well positioned in the American marketplace.”

Infiniti saw its sales drop 10%; however, Genesis Motor America reported sales of 615 units in July, a 63% decrease compared with the prior year.

In the month of July, Genesis was ranked highest in J.D. Power’s U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study among all brands. With a score of 884, Genesis placed first in the APEAL rankings. Earlier this year, J.D. Power separately recognized Genesis with the highest honors in its Initial Quality Study (IQS).

(To see more about Genesis topping the J.D. Power APEAL survey, Click Here.)

In early July, Genesis introduced the 2019 G70 sport sedan to U.S. media, ahead of the consumer launch of G70 later this summer.

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