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BMW, Dodge, Hyundai, Mercedes, Nissan Set Sales Records in the United States

4/12/2013
German luxury automaker BMW Group said it achieved a worldwide sales record in March, selling more vehicles last month than in any other month in the company's history. The Munich, Germany-based group, which owns BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, delivered 191,269 vehicles during the past month. In related sales news, a number of other brands, including Audi, Dodge, Hyundai, Infiniti, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen brands celebrated some delivery records in the U.S. market and around the world.

BMW Group said that strong sales in the United States and in China contributed to achieving a first-quarter global sales record. The German automaker said it delivered 381,404 BMW brand vehicles in the first three months of 2013, a 7% increase compared with 356,562 unit sales in the same quarter of 2012.

In spite of good news for the BMW brand, which retains a small lead in this year's luxury sales race over Mercedes-Benz and Lexus luxury brands in the United States, the German group's worldwide Mini compact sales dipped in the first quarter, partly due to a 4-week plant closure for renovations in Oxford, England. The new Mini Paceman, which debuted in the U.S. market last month, should help bolster Mini sales during the rest of the year.

In the American market, some of the other automaker sales records in March and in the first three months of 2013 are highlighted:
  • Hyundai Motor America's first-quarter U.S. sales were the best in the U.S. since it first began selling cars in the U.S. market--in 1986. The Hyundai brand sold 164,330 vehicles, up from 163,573 unit sales in the same quarter of 2012 with strong deliveries of the fuel-efficient Elantra and the redesigned Santa Fe. In addition, March was the second-best sales month in the U.S. for the Hyundai brand.
  • Nissan Group's sales in the United States were nearly flat in March. However, even those numbers didn't stop Nissan and Infiniti from posting its best-ever sales month in the U.S. market.
  • Chrysler Group's Ram truck deliveries and Dodge brand sales were the best since March of 2007. All-time March records were set by a few Chrysler Group models including the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Avenger, and Dodge Dart.
  • Mercedes-Benz reported its highest first-quarter sales volume since it entered the U.S. market. It also set a new record for March deliveries in the United States. The Daimler Group brand also marked a new record of 324,898 unit sales for the first quarter. The C-Class was a high performer along with the ninth-generation E-Class and M-Class models.
  • The Porsche luxury sports car brand set March and first-quarter sales records in the U.S. market. Porsche, which is part of the Volkswagen Group, delivered nearly 37% more vehicles in the first quarter of 2013--9,650 vs. 7.159 unit sales--with Cayenne midsize premium crossovers accounting for 43% of quarterly sales. Porsche's March deliveries were very strong--climbing 47% from a year ago to set a new record. The new Cayman, which debuts this month, also will help prime future sales of the luxury brand.
  • Volkswagen Group's Audi premium brand sold a record number of vehicles around the world in the first quarter of 2013. First-quarter deliveries reached 369,500 unit sales. Audi continued to reap gains in both the United States and China. In fact, in China, which is Audi's biggest market, sales surpassed the 100,000-unit volume mark in the quarter for the first time in the 25 years that Audi has been in that market. Audi also reported that March was its second-best sales month in the U.S. market.
  • In other U.S. market news, the parent VW Group said that its VW brand sales were the best in the U.S. in March and in the first quarter in 40 years (since 1973).

It should also be noted that in March, the Detroit Three automakers--Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Chrysler Group--achieved their best March sales results in the U.S. market in more than five years, mainly due to demand for fuel-efficient models and their large pickup trucks.

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