BMW’s U.S. sales down 11.1 percent in May

A chassis goes through the integrated paint process at BMW's Plant Spartanburg.

Sales of BMW models produced in the Upstate — the X3 and X4 — increased in May, but the automaker’s U.S. business continued to show decline for the month and year.

BMW of North America reported its sales fell more than 11 percent this past month to 29,878 vehicles, compared with 33,612 in May 2016.

The company said it sold 137,916 vehicles during the first five months of the year, a nearly 5 percent decrease compared with 144,811 during the same period of the previous year.

“Our all-new BMW 5 Series is now showing its strength as availability increases and production begins to match demand,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, president and CEO of BMW of North America, in a statement. “At the same time, demand for BMW Sports Activity Vehicles (SAVs) remains solid with the X1 and the X3 delivering the standout numbers for May.”

Spartanburg County-based BMW Manufacturing Co. is currently the assembly hub of the automaker’s light trucks division, which includes its lineup of X3, X4, X5, and X6 SAVs.

As a whole, the light trucks division’s sales increased almost 4 percent during May and nearly 14 percent for the year.

Sales of the X3 jumped about 22 percent to 4,011 units during the month, compared with 3,295 during the same month of the previous year. Year-to-date, X3 sales increased more than 30 percent to 20,784 units, compared with 15,928 during the same period of 2016.

X4 sales increased more than 9 percent to 406 units in May, compared with 371 during the same month of the prior year. Sales of the X4 were down more than 28 percent to 1,585 units during the first five months of the year, compared with 2,208 during the same period of the previous year.

Sales of the X5 decreased more than 6 percent during the month to 4,098 units, compared with 4,372 in May 2016. For the year, X5 sales have increased almost 8 percent to 19,570 units, compared with 18,186 during the same period of the prior year.

X6 sales fell more than 23 percent to 547 units in May, compared with 712 during the same month of the previous year. Sales of the X6 are down more than 11 percent for the year to 2,636 units, compared with 2,964 during the same period of 2016.

As of Tuesday, Germany-based BMW Group had not reported its global May sales. But the company’s April sales increased more than 7 percent and set a new record high for the month.

Sales of the locally produced X models accounted for about 38 percent of the automaker’s U.S. sales and 17 percent of its global sales in April.

The Spartanburg plant’s annual production numbers as of June 3 stood at 178,522 vehicles. The plant is on track to surpass its production record of 411,000 vehicles it achieved in 2016.

BMW said its brand sales in the U.S. decreased 11 percent in April and are down almost 4 percent for the year.

The company’s MINI brand sales fell almost 12 percent during the month and are down more than 12 percent for the year in this country.






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