BMW AG’s namesake brand outsold Mercedes-Benz and Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus last month in the U.S. as all three of the market’s largest sellers of luxury autos ended the first half behind their year-earlier totals.
Deliveries for BMW in June slid 10 percent to 28,855, according to a statement Friday. Even so, it topped the 28,473 sales by Daimler AG’s Mercedes, a 1.5 percent gain from a year earlier and a June record. Lexus reported a 1.3 percent decline to 25,779 deliveries.
June was the first month this year that BMW outsold its two rivals, after capturing the full-year sales crown in 2014 and 2015. BMW relies more on cars than SUVs, running counter to the recent preference of U.S. consumers. The automaker finished the first half with sales down 9 percent to 153,436, trailing Mercedes by more than 9,000 deliveries.
“It’s a tale of two markets,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader.com. “Sport utilities are doing far better than cars.”
Sales of BMW’s X3 SUV were up 69 percent last month to 3,900 units while the X1 crossover gained 77 percent to 1,982 units. Among sedans, 2 series cars more than doubled to 2,554 vehicles while the 3 series fell 1 percent to 6,819 units.
Mercedes reported gains of 48 percent for GLK and GLC SUVs and 28 percent for the GLE and M-Class SUVs, along with a 5.8 percent increase for the revamped E-class cars. The brand closed out the first half with a 1.3 percent decline from a year earlier.
The sales figures don’t include BMW’s Mini models or Daimler’s work trucks and Smart cars, which aren’t luxury vehicles.
The four SUVs sold by Lexus showed an 11 percent increase in June, while its car models declined 14 percent. Deliveries for the luxury division of Toyota for the first six months fell 4.6 percent.
Alec Gutierrez, a Kelley Blue Book analyst, said instability in the financial markets caused by the U.K. vote to pull out of the European Union may put some pressure on the luxury-auto market in the second half.
For the total U.S. auto market, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg in June on average predicted 2016 auto sales will come in below 17.7 million. That’s down from a forecast of 17.8 million at the beginning of the year.