BMW leads US luxury sales in February as Cadillac tops Lexus, Mercedes

Thursday, 3 March 2011 00:59 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

General Motors Company’s Cadillac sold more cars and SUVs in the U.S. than Toyota Motor Corporation’s Lexus and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz in February when it was surpassed only by Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s namesake brand.

Cadillac’s U.S. sales rose 70 percent from a year ago to 15,768, as it topped Lexus and Mercedes for the first time since June 2005.

BMW reported an 8.7 percent increase last month to 16,416, overtaking Mercedes-Benz as the top-selling luxury line in the U.S. Mercedes sales rose 4 percent to 15,464, while Lexus, last year’s luxury leader, rose 0.2 percent to 13,814.

Cadillac’s CTS and DTS models each more than doubled their sales in February as GM offered larger discounts. Lexus fell to fourth place for the month after holding off the German automakers to keep the top spot for the 11th consecutive year. Through two months, BMW leads Mercedes 32,321 to 31,862.

 “We decided to come out a little more aggressive at the beginning of the year” with discount offers, Kurt McNeil, vice president of Cadillac sales, said yesterday in an interview. “But we’re not up 70 percent just based on incentive spending.”

Cadillac’s incentive spending rose 43 percent from last February to average $4,878 per vehicle, according to, a Santa Monica, California-based website that tracks industry incentives. Cadillac’s incentives were the highest of any luxury brand and above the average of $3,500 per car spent by all luxury lines in the U.S., TrueCar estimated.

BMW’s incentives fell 23 percent from last year, to $3,674 per car, while Mercedes discounts rose 4.4 percent to $3,289 per vehicle, TrueCar said. Toyota spent an average of $2,295 per vehicle on Lexus incentives, up 39 percent, TrueCar said.

Cadillac ranked fourth in U.S. luxury sales last year and hasn’t led in annual luxury sales since 1997, according to Detroit-based GM.

Ford sold 5,948 Lincoln cars and trucks in February, an 11 percent decrease from a year earlier, according to a statement from the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker.

BMW rose to the top on the strength of new models such as the X3 sport-utility vehicle and its 3-Series line of cars, Toprak said.

“BMW has better product at the moment,” Toprak said. “They have a newer product lineup that brings people into the showroom without need for much incentives.”

The results exclude Daimler’s Sprinter vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, which aren’t luxury vehicles.

BMW’s sales would have been stronger if the German automaker could build more all-wheel-drive versions of its 3-Series sedan and X3 models, said Jim O’Donnell, president and chief executive officer of BMW of North America. (Bloomberg)

BMW, Peugeot, Citroën to develop Hybrid Technology together

World War II jokes aside, the French and the Germans are joining forces this time…and for powers of good. BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroën plan to invest 100 million Euros and the efforts of 400 employees into developing hybrid technology, to be shared by both brands.

The programme, excitingly titled “BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification,” will be based in both Munich, Germany, and Mulhouse, France. The programme will add over 100 new engineering jobs to the two cities and will focus on hybrid components such as battery packs, E-machines, generators, power electronics, chargers, and software.

 “As responsible carmakers, we aim to create an open European platform and foster the development of European standards for hybrid technologies,” said Philippe Varin, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroën. “This joint venture will also enable us to develop advanced technological manufacturing expertise in Europe in the field of electric powertrains, and to retain all its potential for creating value.”

This is not the first time BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroën have worked together; in 2002, the two companies developed and built four-cylinder engines for MINI, Peugeot and Citroën cars. And in 2010, they worked on a replacement four-cylinder engine that will meet new EU 6 emissions requirements.

The programme is scheduled to start at the end of 2011, and we can expect to see hybrid-equipped BMWs, Peugeots and Citroëns in 2014.