Bucking the trend that affected the makers of lower-cost and generally more fuel-efficient vehicles, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW all posted year-over-year sales gains for the month of August. Mercedes-Benz and Audi had sales increases of 15 and 14 percent, respectively. BMW increased sales by 1.6 percent.
Audi had its best August ever, with 9182 units sold. Mercedes-Benz sold 19,674 to BMW's 19,540. Without the 848 Sprinters, Mercedes-Benz's total drops to 18,826.
BMW and Audi both saw huge gains from their SUVs. Even the outgoing BMW X3 had sales increase 33.1 percent. The next-generation model goes into production today in South Carolina. The X5 was BMW's third best-selling vehicle, behind the 3 Series and 5 Series. X5 sales increased 21.4 percent while BMW sold 440 X6s. In case you're keeping track, Acura sold 428 of its much less expensive ZDX.
At Audi, the Q5 was nearly as hot as the A4 with 2675 units sold -- a 78.8 percent improvement from last August. The Q7 saw sales of 560, up from 394 last August.
Another consistent performer, albeit on a small scale, has been the A3. Year-to-date, sales are up 74.8 percent, likely due in part to the availability of the TDI diesel model. A5 and A6 sales were each up at least 29 percent year-over-year.
Audi sold 114 R8s compared to 85 last August while 165 TTs left Audi showrooms compared to the 189 last August.
The biggest jumper at Mercedes-Benz was the R-Class. Sales of the not-a-minivan increased 389.7 percent over last August or, in other words, from 39 units last August to 191 this August.
Higher volume Benzes like the C-Class and E-Class sold well. The C-Class was up 43.4 percent last month and the E-Class was up 25.9 percent in August and 70.6 percent year-to-date.
S-Class sales declined to 832, though BMW's 7 Series was up to 1224 units. Nevertheless, S-Class sales are up 19.6 percent through the first eight months of this year.
At BMW, the 1 Series was a surprisingly strong seller. Sales were up 52.5 percent for the month. In fact, the 1 Series has sold more than twice as much as the Audi A3 in August alone and through the end of August.
BMW's most important model, the 3 Series, was down 15.2 percent in August. The 5 Series was also down, by 13.8 percent. Overall, BMW cars were down 3.1 percent and the three SUVs were up 24.4 percent.
Year-to-date, Audi is up 25.1 percent, BMW is up 7.8 percent, and Mercedes-Benz is up 22.2 percent.
Source: Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz