BMW’s U.S. sales continue to slump in August

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BMW’s U.S. business declined again in August, as three out of four of the German automaker’s popular light trucks models produced exclusively in Spartanburg County – the X3, X5, and X6 – failed to gain traction.

BMW of North America LLC reported its sales fell to 28,001 vehicles during the month, an 8.2 percent decrease compared with 30,500 during August 2016.

For the year, BMW’s sales in this country are down 5.8 percent to 225,655 vehicles, compared with 239,631 during the same period of the previous year.

“Even as we are reporting the August sales, our thoughts are with those in the devastated areas of Texas and Louisiana, especially our many employees and colleagues,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, president and CEO of BMW of North America, in a statement. “We are making significant contributions to the American Red Cross to relieve as much of the suffering as possible.

“August numbers were a bit unusual in that sedans outpaced our SAV’s as model year change over for the X5 and new model production of the X3 significantly restricted availability of our especially popular SAV models. This of course will improve as production ramps up.”

Sales of BMW passenger cars, including the i3, i8, Z4, X1, and 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and, 7 Series increased 6.2 percent to 16,708 vehicles during the month, up from 15,730 during the same month of 2016.

For the year, the company’s passenger car sales are down 9.3 percent to 127,510 vehicles, compared with 140,605 during the same span of the prior year.

Sales of the company’s light trucks assembled at its Spartanburg County plant decreased 30.2 percent during the month to 6,845 vehicles, compared with 9,801 in August 2016.

Year-to-date, sales of locally made X models are up 4.6 percent to 67,094 vehicles, compared with 64,139 during the first eight months of the previous year.

X3 sales decreased more than 37 percent during the past month to 2,918 units, compared with 4,668 in August 2016. For the year, X3 sales have increased 10.1 percent to 29,925 units, compared with 27,174 during the same period of the prior year.

Sales of the X4 were the only bright spot for the light trucks during the month, as the numbers increased 16.4 percent to 503 units, compared with 432 during the same month a year ago. However, X4 sales are down 11.6 percent for the year to 2,985 units, compared with 3,376 during the same period of 2016.

X5 sales decreased more than 25 percent in August to 3,079 units, compared with 4,121 during the same month of the previous year. For the first eight months of the year, X5 sales have increased 4 percent to 30,224 units, compared with 29,069 during the same period of 2016.

Sales of the X6 decreased 40.5 percent during the month to 345 units, compared with 580 during the same month one year ago. X6 sales are down 12.4 percent for the year to 3,960 units, compared with 4,520 during the same period of the previous year.

BMW’s North American affiliate said its brand sales fell 7.7 percent during the month and 5 percent so far this year.

The company’s MINI brand sales were down 10.5 percent in August and have decreased 11 percent during the first eight months of 2016.

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