BMW Group’s sales were flat last month, but the performance was good enough to tighten the 2019 race with rival Mercedes-Benz, which suffered the biggest drop among the top four luxury auto brands that reported results Friday.
Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, the U.S. leader for the last three years, had its sales slide 13 percent to 21,660 vehicles in February as nearly all of its crossovers and SUVs slumped.
BMW’s namesake brand eked out a 0.2 percent gain to 23,558 vehicles, thanks to a big bump from the X3 compact crossover. BMW's results improved even as it cut average incentives 4.2 percent to $5,432, according to ALG estimates. BMW's average transaction price rose 7.4 percent $56,394, ALG said.
Mercedes still leads BMW by 2,507 deliveries for the first two months of the year.
"We’re pleased to end February with a slight increase in sales given our current model changeovers,” Bernhard Kuhnt, CEO of BMW of North America, said in a statement. "As we approach spring, we do so with the all-new 3 series on showroom floors and the X7, Z4 and 8 series convertible all starting to arrive in March."
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus division rose 4.4 percent to 20,122 deliveries, the best performance among the top four premium car brands that reported results. That was powered mostly by sales of its new UX subcompact crossover.
Volkswagen Group's Audi, which had its 16-month growth streak snapped last October, logged a fifth consecutive month of declines. Sales tumbled 12 percent to 13,560 units, marred by a 15 percent drop in Q7 crossover deliveries.
Tesla Inc. does not report monthly results. Automotive News estimated the EV maker sold 18,200 vehicles in the U.S. last month, which would place it fourth ahead of Audi.
Automotive News contributed to this report.