European Automakers Have Strong Showing in July

By Trevor Dorchies | August 02, 2011
German automakers BMW and Volkswagen led July’s volume push from European manufacturers, showing almost universal gains across the board from the companies that posted sales figures. With an upcoming C-Class coupe and new M-Class SUV that still haven’t hit the market, Mercedes-Benz trails in third place for the Europeans companies and second behind BMW in the luxury segment. Perennial leader Lexus, owned by the Japanese Toyota Corporation, is trailing in the luxury car race with smaller supplies as a result of the damage that came from March’s earthquakes in Japan. Otherwise, Land Rover remained stagnant last month in anticipation of the new Range Rover Evoque, and Porsche would have seen declines had it not been for a strong showing from the first year of its redesigned Cayenne SUV. The beleaguered Saab brand did not report sales figures for July after closing its plant to deal with supplier issues. Audi: A momentous 2011 has helped propel Audi into second place behind Volkswagen for the biggest percentage gain in July. Like its sister automaker, Audi has continued to ride a hot streak leading the German luxury brand to its seventh consecutive record setting month for 2011. Audi managed to move the most cars it ever has for the month of July this year with 9,146 units sold, a 17 percent increase.
  • The A8 led the way for Audi with a 275 percent increase moving 450 vehicles as opposed to 120 during the same month last year.
  • Next up was the A6 led the pack for Audi with a 63.5 percent increase in sales moving 1,014 vehicles in July compared to 620 last year.
  • Audi's supercar, the R8, had strong sales figures for the month of July with a 57.7 percent increase moving 82 units compared to 52 last year.
  • The only two vehicles to dip into the red for Audi were the A4 with a 14.7 decrease in sales and the Q5 losing 1.6 percent in sales.
BMW: In 2011, BMW has continued to outsell luxury brands Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, and July was no different. Retail sales rose 11.7 percent in July compared to the same month last year. Overall sales are up 17 percent with five months to go in 2011. The new 2011 BMW X3 crossover made at BMW's South Carolina assembly plant had the biggest increase in sales since its introduction into the U.S. market seven months ago.
  • BMW brand was up 12.3 percent for the month of July, moving 21,409 units compared to the 19,604 sold in the same month last year.
  • The new 2011 BMW X3 saw sales rise 294.8 percent in July, with 2,207 units sold.
  • The 5 Series saw a sales increase of 58.5 percent moving 4,318 units and the Z4 Roadster sold 454 units, a 92.4 percent increase.
  • Year-to-date BMW Group sales went up 17 percent with 169,641 units moved compared to 144,975 during the same time in 2010.
Jaguar/Land Rover: When the Land Rover brand giveth, the Jaguar division taketh away, leaving July a flat sales month versus the previous year with 13 less vehicles sold this year than last—3795 total. On the plus side, Land Rover sales were up 23 percent on the month, total company sales are up 12 percent on the year, and the stylish Range Rover Evoque has yet to hit the market.
  • The midsize Range Rover Sport posted a 46 percent gain over last year, with 1160 SUVs sold — the highest volume of any single Jaguar/Land Rover product.
  • Jaguar sales have made up 7394 of the company’s total U.S. sales, 27 vehicles more than the company had sold this time last year.
Mercedes-Benz: With its best July sales month since 2006, Mercedes-Benz enjoyed a 16.7 percent increase in sales over July 2010. Since Lexus has left the picture as the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz and BMW have volleyed position as the leader in luxury marques throughout the year, with BMW now taking a large lead. In July, BMW beat Mercedes-Benz’s 21,065 vehicles sold by about 5000 vehicles, and BMW has sold 30,500 more cars than Mercedes-Benz’s 139,086 to date.
  • The $50,275 E-Class led company sales with 5114 sold.
  • The 2011 M-Class SUV jumped up 40.8 percent before the upcoming redesigned 2012 model goes on sale.
  • Diesel sales are up 134.1 percent for 2011, selling 913 units (versus 390 last year).
  • The Smart brand sold 327 ForTwo subcompacts.
Porsche: Led by the redesigned Cayenne SUV, Porsche posted a modest 2 percent sales increase in July with 2768 vehicles sold, 65 more than July 2010. The Cayenne picked up significant slack, as every other model range Porsche makes dropped in sales. Despite the July decline that occurred with the German automaker’s bread-and-butter sports cars and the Panamera sedan, Porsche’s sales figures are up a whopping 34 percent on the year, to 18,310.
  • With an all-new 911 coming soon, the current model’s sales fell from 593 in July 2010 to 480.
  • The Cayenne accounted for almost half of Porsches sold last month, with a total of 1342. In 2010, Porsche sold 910 Cayennes.
  • The Panamera super sedan slid the furthest from last year with 619 finding homes, 188 off from last year.
  • Surprisingly, Porsche’s most-affordable model, the Boxster sports car, is also its poorest-selling with just 327 purchased last month. On the year, it’s down 7 percent to 2167 sold.
Volkswagen of America: Volkswagen continues to show signs of strong sales in 2011, with a hearty 22 percent increase for the year to date with 183,191 vehicles moved. As for the month of July, sales figures weren't far behind with Volkswagen showing a 21.7 increase in sales this July compared to last. The Jetta, which recently received low marks from Consumer Reports, moved 15,713 units for a 50.9 percent sales increase for the year so far compared to last year.
  • The Touareg was the highest selling vehicle in Volkswagen's line-up for July, with a 119.3 percent sales increase moving 522 total units.
  • Eos sales saw a 39.9 percent sales increase and the Golf bumped up its sales from last July 14.6 percent.
  • The TDI clean diesel models accounted for just under a quarter of Volkswagen's sales with a 24.1 percent increase.
Volvo: Although Volvo isn’t a huge player in the U.S. market, it’s no Swedish meatball, either, posting a 29.5 percent sales gain for July 2011. Led by the all-new S60 sports sedan with 1584 units sold, Volvo has held a strong 28.8 percent sales increase on the year through the first seven months. Total sales for the month were 5595 cars, station wagons, and crossovers.