BMW's X vehicles lead jump in sales

Greenville NewsMay 2, 2014 

BMW Expansion

A "Made In SC" plate is shown on a new BMW X4 vehicle as it is unveiled during a news conference at the BMW manufacturing plant in Greer, S.C

CHUCK BURTON — AP

BMW Group reported Thursday an 8.5 percent jump in sales of its BMW brand vehicles in the United States in April, thanks to a strong showroom performance by its X vehicles assembled in the Upstate.

The German automaker said U.S. dealers sold 3,544 X3s last month, up 85.2 percent from the previous year. Sales of the X5 were up 27.6 percent to 4,493 units, the company said.

In all, dealers sold 25,202 BMW brand vehicles and 4,390 MINIs in April, up 2 percent from year-ago numbers.

“April started and ended strong, which is not typical with spring break, holidays and taxes due during the month,” said Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW of North America, the automaker’s sales and marketing division here.

“The increasing momentum including launch of new diesel models in the X3 and 7 Series and the first sales this month of the born-electric BMW i3 gives us considerable optimism for May and June.”

For the first four months this year, U.S. dealers sold 97,579 BMW brand vehicles, up 10.7 percent from the 88,127 sold through April in 2013.

BMW remains in a tight battle with Mercedes-Benz for U.S. customers. Mercedes said Thursday its U.S. dealers sold 25,887 branded vehicles during April, up 9.5 percent, and 98,501 year-to-date.

Volkswagen’s Audi brand, another BMW rival in the premium segment, said its April sales totaled 15,653 vehicles, its 40th consecutive month of rising sales in the United States and its second-best month ever.

Year-to-date, Audi’s U.S. dealers sold 50,881 vehicles through April, up 7.5 percent.

Like BMW, Audi rang up strong sales of its SUVs. The automaker said sales of its Q7 model were up 23.6 percent last month.

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