BMW’s U.S. sales increase 3.5 percent in March


Sales of two BMW models produced in Spartanburg County—the X3 and X5—helped push the automaker’s U.S. business to a 3.5 percent increase in March.

BMW of North America LLC reported Monday it sold 36,002 vehicles during the month, compared with 34,795 vehicles in March 2016.

For the first quarter, the company’s U.S. sales were 81,933 vehicles, an increase of six-tenths of a percent compared with 81,452 during the same period of the previous year.

“With the arrival of spring, thoughts naturally turn to new cars and March gave us a nice boost as our Sports Activity Vehicles, the X3 and X5 in particular, continue to drive the growing demand,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, president and CEO of BMW of North America, in a statement. “Our new BMW 5 Series is just breaking into what is a difficult market for sedans but orders are solid and with two more variants on their way, we are optimistic for the months ahead.”

Sales of the X3 increased almost 43 percent to 6,395 units in March, compared with 4,476 during the same month in 2016. Year-to-date, X3 sales stood at 13,569 units, a nearly 33 percent increase compared with 10,211 during the same period of the previous year.

X5 sales increased more than 35 percent during the month to 4,896 units, compared with 3,617 in March of 2016. For the first quarter, sales of the X5 have increased more than 20 percent to 12,072 units, compared with 10,043 during the same period of the prior year.

Sales of two other models made in Spartanburg—the X4 and X6—trended downward during the month and for the first three months of the year.

X4 sales dipped almost 43 percent in March to 395 units, compared with 689 during the same month of the previous year. Since January, sales of the X4 have decreased almost 40 percent to 888 units, down from 1,473 during the same span of 2016.

Sales of the X6 dropped less than 1 percent in March to 630 units, compared with 635 during the same month of 2016. For the year, X6 sales have fallen about 7 percent to 1,528 units, compared with 1,644 during the same period of the prior year.

BMW’s light trucks division, which includes all of the X models made in the Upstate, recorded nearly a 31 percent increase in March and are up more than 20 percent during the first quarter, according to the company.

Meanwhile, BMW’s brand division sales increased 3.3 percent during the month and are up 1.5 percent for the year. Its MINI brand division sales increased 4.7 percent in March, but are down 5.4 percent during the first quarter.

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