INTERNATIONAL – BMW’s namesake brand was neck-and-neck with its German rival in the US last month, edging Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz by a mere 34 cars and keeping the race for sales bragging rights close into the final stretch.
BMW posted a 6 percent gain in September, delivering to 27 467 cars and sport utility vehicles. The 3 Series sedan was up 19 percent and the X5 SUV more than doubled sales from a year ago.
Mercedes deliveries rose 4.8 percent to 27 433, paced by deliveries of its GLC and GLE SUVs, which jumped 13 percent and 28 percent, respectively.
BMW has a lead of more than 8 200 vehicles over Mercedes year-to-date. But the latter is regaining some momentum after supplier bottlenecks at its assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, left dealers with inventory shortages earlier this year.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus, which outsold the German luxury leaders in both July and August, reported a 17 percent plunge in US deliveries last month. Sales of the ES, the brand’s top sedan, tumbled 36 percent, while the RX SUV, its most popular light truck, fell 12 ercent.
Volkswagen’s Audi division also slumped in September, with a 17 percent slide. Deliveries of its best-selling SUV, the Q5, fell 41 percent.