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22nd of July 2018

Automotive



LUXURY: BMW takes top spot; supplier disruption hampers Mercedes

A supplier fire that hobbled crossover and SUV production cost Mercedes-Benz USA the top spot in the luxury U.S. sales race in June.

BMW edged out its long-time rival, selling 29,407 vehicles for the month, up 1.5 percent from a year ago. Crossovers fueled BMW's performance in June.

Mercedes, meanwhile, suffered a 9.7 percent slide in June sales to 26,191, excluding the brand's commercial van sales.

"June sales were mainly impacted by limited availability of our larger SUVs, the GLE [crossover] and GLS [SUV], whose production was affected by a fire at a supplier facility in May," Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler said in a statement.

The fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America in Eaton Rapids, Mich., had a ripple effect across the auto industry, disrupting production at General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, BMW and Mercedes-Benz plants.

Rounding out the luxury segment's top five brands in June U.S. sales were Lexus, with sales of 23,750, down 2.6 percent; Audi, with sales of 19,471, up 0.3 percent; and Acura, with deliveries of 14,532, up 3.5 percent.

Crossovers accounted for 53 percent of BMW brand sales in June. The BMW X2 had its best sales month since its March launch (2,150 vehicles), while the BMW X3 had its biggest sales month of the year (5,366 vehicles, up 51 percent over June 2017).

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