While Mercedes March sales did not best arch-rival BMW by a large number, it clobbered BMW in growth, or lack thereof, in comparison to March 2015. Mercedes sales were 31,236 down 3.3%, while BMW sales collapsed 12.5% to 30,033. The BMW drop rate was worse than Volkswagen’s for last month.
The March patterns were close to those for the first quarter. Mercedes sales fell 0.8% to 83,009. BMW’s were off 10.0% to 70,613.
The most popular BMW models posted terrible performances. 3-Series sales fell 34.4% to 6,218. The model is among BMW’s least expensive, with an entry price of $33,150. Sales of BMW’s mid-priced sedan, the 5-Series, fell 38.1% to 3,157. The base price for the 5-Series is $55,200. And sales of the BMW flagship sport utility vehicle (SUV), the X5 dropped 17.6% to 3,617. The X5 entry price is $54,700.
Mercedes performance was bolstered by models GLC/GLK, which are part of the manufacturer’s SUV lineup. The base price for the GLC is $38,950, putting it at the low end of Mercedes SUVs. Its sales were up 96.6% in March to 4,871. Sales of the mid-priced GLE/M-Class SUVs rose 17.6% to 4,730. The GLE has an entry price of $51,100. The health of these offsets sales of Mercedes sedans, which fell 12.8% for the C-Class to 6,658, and the E-Class that fell 18.7% to 4,095.
Mercedes and BMW managements say that they would rather have good profits per car than to win the annual unit sales crown for the United States. Nevertheless, in unit sales, BMW is getting murdered.