BMW North America is off to a record-setting year as sales of its BMW brand vehicles (excluding its MINI brand) have increased 11.5% during the first three months of 2014 compared to last year, spurred by an 18.6% surge in March sales. The company reported sales totaling 32,107 vehicles compared to 27,078 sold in March 2013. Year-to-date, the BMW brand reported sales of 72,377 compared to 64,902 sold in the first three months of 2013.
BMW reported its best performing vehicles included the 6 Series, up 249.3% to 3,063 units; the Z4, up 87.3 percent to 592 units; and the BMW X1, up 55.8% to 4,307 units.
In addition, the company announced its best month ever for sales of certified pre-owned and pre-owned vehicles, reporting sales increases 22.1% to 19,301 vehicles compared to 15,809 sold in March, 2013. Year-to-date, BMW used vehicles (including certified pre-owned and pre-owned) are up 13.4% on sales of 48,400 compared to 42,675 sold in the first three months of 2013.
"You could almost feel the desire as March roared out with record-breaking numbers for BMW making for a strong start to the spring season,” said Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO, BMW of North America. “New models from the 2 Series to the 4 Series to the X5 are gaining traction in the marketplace,” he added.
Targets Limousine Industry
BMW also has stepped up its effort to target limo operators by offering a wider range of vehicles and warranty program. At the February International LCT Show in Las Vegas, the company announced the addition of the 5 Series sedan models to its BMW Limousine and Hotel Shuttle Program. The 5 Series lineup extends the company’s livery program lineup (launched in 2012) that includes its top-of-the-line 7 Series and the 5 Series GT.
“With our addition of the 5 Series, we are increasing our product portfolio to satisfy the needs of the livery industry by offering a more affordable classic sedan,” said Marco Schneider, key account manager. In addition, Schneider said the new optional extended service contract (launched in November 2013) will extend to the 5 Series. The contact provides coverage for 3 years/150,000 miles. Every BMW comes with a standard 4 year/50,000 miles no maintenance warranty. Further, the company also offers a 6 year/100,000 maintenance program upgrade.
According to Schneider, the 5 Series entry base price for the 528i, is as low as $42,500 (that includes livery specific incentives) up to $51,490 for the Active Hybrid 5 sedan. In all, nine five series sedans are being offered under the livery program.
—Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast Editor