BMW Group said Tuesday that sales of its flagship brand in the United States soared 11.5 percent in June to 30,201 vehicles, with sales for the first half of the year running 12.1 percent higher than last year.
The German automaker said its U.S. dealers sold 157,382 cars and SUVs in the first six months, of which 46,578 were the X3, X5 and X6 models assembled at BMW Manufacturing Co. in Greer.
The company said dealers have sold 21 percent more of the product produced in the Upstate through six months this year compared with 2013.
BMW’s monthly sales are widely followed here because of its importance to the region’s economy. The plant along Interstate 85 employs approximately 8,000 workers, and its suppliers supply paychecks for thousand more.
Combined with its MINI brand, BMW Group said its dealers sold 35,577 cars last month and 181,534 for the first half.
“The June and first-half results prove again that customer demand is solid and stronger than many have thought and we fully expect confidence and demand to stay strong through the end of the year,” said Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW of North America, the automaker’s sales and marketing division in the United States.
“I am particularly pleased with the results for our 2 and 4 Series models; these are driving machines at the core of the BMW brand.”
Among BMW’s German rivals in the premium segment, Volkswagen’s Audi division said its sales were up 24.1 percent in June, with 16,867 vehicles sold in the United States. Year-to-date, Audi said it sold 84,349 units through June.
“In just six months this year, Audi has sold more vehicles in the U.S. than it did over a full year as recently as 2009,” said Mark Del Rosso, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Audi of America.
Daimler reported an 8.6 percent rise in Mercedes-Benz sales to 26,506 units, with year-to-date volume hitting 151,624 vehicles through June.
“We’re breaking records through June, hitting the best second-quarter finish in our history with four new launches still ahead,” said Stephen Cannon, president and CEO of MBUSA.
Among other manufacturers, General Motors, Toyota and Nissan all saw increases over last June, while sales at Ford and Volkswagen were down.
GM sales were up 1 percent over last June. Sales of its top-selling vehicle, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, were flat, but SUV sales were stout, with sales of the Chevrolet Tahoe large SUV nearly doubling.
Toyota’s sales were up 3 percent on the strength of Camry and Corolla sedans, which both had double-digit gains.
Ford’s sales fell 6 percent as the company cut discounts for its top seller, the F-Series. The company is trying to limit pickup sales this year as it changes over to its new F-150 model for 2015.
Strong sales of the new Jeep Cherokee SUV helped Chrysler improve its sales 9 percent in June.