By on January 5, 2012

Finally, a day later, the two German primadonnas, Daimler and BMW, handed in their homework, and America can get on with its life, knowing that Americans bought 1,243,784 light vehicles in December. This brought annual sales in the U.S. to the official total of 12,778,885 units, up 10 percent over 2010.

Now for the primadonnas. Executives at both German companies counted cars as if their careers depend on who’s on first. When they finally handed in their paperwork a day late, to everybody’s surprise, BMW squeaked by Mercedes by 2,715 units and a total of 247,907 bimmers for the year. That despite a sudden voracious appetite of American drivers for the Mercedes brand, which rose 28 percent to 25,701 in December, for an annual total of 245,192.

In the luxury races, you must eliminate BMW Minis, and on the Daimler side Smart and Mercedes Sprinter vans.

Two days ago, Edmunds still had different numbers and said that “Mercedes-Benz is expected to pull ahead to finish the year over BMW by about 1,100 vehicles.”

For the first time, BMW can call itself  America’s king of luxury. But is that an excuse for letting a whole nation wait a day?

December U.S. Light Vehicle Sales

(Complete table)

Automaker Dec. 2011 Dec. 2010 Pct. chng. 12 month
2011
12 month
2010
Pct. chng.
BMW Group 32,575 27,643 18% 305,766 266,269 15%
    BMW division 26,834 23,280 15% 247,907 220,113 13%
    Mini 5,711 4,320 32% 57,511 45,644 26%
    Rolls-Royce 30 43 –30% 348 512 –32%
BMW Group 32,575 27,643 18% 305,766 266,269 15%
Chrysler Group 138,019 100,702 37% 1,369,114 1,085,211 26%
    Chrysler Division 23,974 13,132 83% 221,346 197,446 12%
    Dodge 41,548 32,390 28% 451,040 383,675 18%
    Dodge/Ram 68,143 56,660 20% 708,650 596,627 19%
    Fiat 2,325 –% 19,769 –%
    Jeep 43,577 30,910 41% 419,349 291,138 44%
    Ram 26,595 24,270 10% 257,610 212,952 21%
Chrysler Group 138,019 100,702 37% 1,369,114 1,085,211 26%
Daimler AG 28,009 22,044 27% 267,016 230,934 16%
    Maybach 3 5 –40% 39 63 –38%
    Mercedes-Benz 27,296 21,469 27% 261,769 224,944 16%
    Smart USA 710 570 25% 5,208 5,927 –12%
Daimler AG 28,009 22,044 27% 267,016 230,934 16%
Ford Motor Co. 209,447 190,191 10% 2,143,101 1,964,059 9%
    Ford division 201,044 173,738 16% 2,057,210 1,752,511 17%
    Ford/Lincoln/Mercury 209,447 190,191 10% 2,143,101 1,931,534 11%
    Lincoln 8,403 8,060 4% 85,643 85,828 0%
    Mercury 8,393 –100% 248 93,195 100%
    Volvo –% 32,525 –100%
Ford Motor Co. 209,447 190,191 10% 2,143,101 1,964,059 9%
General Motors 234,351 224,147 5% 2,503,797 2,211,699 13%
    Buick 14,974 17,095 –12% 177,633 155,389 14%
    Cadillac 16,259 16,718 –3% 152,389 146,925 4%
    Chevrolet 161,158 147,938 9% 1,775,802 1,563,881 14%
    GMC 41,960 42,143 0% 397,973 333,204 19%
    Hummer 38 –100% 3,812 –100%
    Pontiac 130 –100% 1,182 –100%
    Saab –% 608 –100%
    Saturn 85 –100% 6,698 –100%
General Motors 234,351 224,147 5% 2,503,797 2,211,699 13%
Honda (American) 105,230 129,616 –19% 1,147,285 1,230,480 –7%
    Acura 13,129 15,489 –15% 123,299 133,606 –8%
    Honda Division 92,101 114,127 –19% 1,023,986 1,096,874 –7%
Honda (American) 105,230 129,616 –19% 1,147,285 1,230,480 –7%
Hyundai Group 94,155 75,246 25% 1,131,183 894,496 27%
    Hyundai division 50,765 44,802 13% 645,691 538,228 20%
    Kia 43,390 30,444 43% 485,492 356,268 36%
Hyundai Group 94,155 75,246 25% 1,131,183 894,496 27%
Jaguar Land Rover 5,880 4,875 21% 50,375 45,204 11%
    Jaguar 1,137 1,180 –4% 12,276 13,340 –8%
    Land Rover 4,743 3,695 28% 38,099 31,864 20%
Jaguar Land Rover 5,880 4,875 21% 50,375 45,204 11%
Maserati 238 180 32% 2,321 1,897 22%
Maserati 238 180 32% 2,321 1,897 22%
Mazda 22,353 21,479 4% 250,426 229,566 9%
Mazda 22,353 21,479 4% 250,426 229,566 9%
Mitsubishi 5,032 4,874 3% 79,020 55,683 42%
Mitsubishi 5,032 4,874 3% 79,020 55,683 42%
Nissan 100,927 93,730 8% 1,042,534 908,570 15%
    Infiniti 10,990 12,502 –12% 98,461 103,411 –5%
    Nissan Division 89,937 81,228 11% 944,073 805,159 17%
Nissan 100,927 93,730 8% 1,042,534 908,570 15%
Porsche 1,834 2,567 –29% 29,023 25,320 15%
Porsche 1,834 2,567 –29% 29,023 25,320 15%
Saab Cars North America 270 1,074 –75% 5,610 4,838 16%
Saab Cars North America 270 1,074 –75% 5,610 4,838 16%
Subaru 33,701 26,694 26% 266,989 263,820 1%
Subaru 33,701 26,694 26% 266,989 263,820 1%
Suzuki 2,565 2,647 –3% 26,618 23,994 11%
Suzuki 2,565 2,647 –3% 26,618 23,994 11%
Toyota 178,131 177,488 0% 1,644,660 1,763,595 –7%
    Lexus 25,355 27,560 –8% 198,552 229,329 –13%
    Scion 4,159 3,956 5% 49,271 45,678 8%
    Toyota division 148,617 145,972 2% 1,396,837 1,488,588 –6%
    Toyota/Scion 152,776 149,928 2% 1,446,108 1,534,266 –6%
Toyota 178,131 177,488 0% 1,644,660 1,763,595 –7%
Volkswagen 45,474 34,610 31% 443,840 359,889 23%
    Audi 12,655 10,546 20% 117,561 101,629 16%
    Bentley 317 197 61% 1,877 1,430 31%
    VW division 32,502 23,867 36% 324,402 256,830 26%
Volkswagen 45,474 34,610 31% 443,840 359,889 23%
Volvo Cars NA 5,342 4,756 12% 67,240 21,423 214%
Volvo Cars NA 5,342 4,756 12% 67,240 21,423 214%
Other (estimate) 251 243 3% 2,967 2,897 2%
TOTAL 1,243,784 1,144,806 9% 12,778,885 11,589,844 10%

Data courtesy Automotive News [sub].

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8 Comments on “After German Primadonnas Submit, U.S. Light Vehicle Count Finally Official...”


  • avatar
    V572625694

    5,208 Smarts in 2011 — look out, Peugeot!

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    All things considered at Lexus – stale, old tech LS, GX, LX, mid-cycle RX, EOL IS, GS, ES, miserable HS – third place is really nothing to be ashamed of. I suspect when most of the line is refreshed soon, they’ll probably be back in the lead. It will be interesting to see if this new “performance focused” GS is actually able to take it to the 5 and E in sales, or if there’s a bubble for a year or two which then pops just like every previous GS.

  • avatar
    mike978

    VW seems to be on target for 800000 by 2018 as their target. Well over 400000 with the Passat only just released means they should get well over 500,000 for 2012. Will be interesting to see what new models they have to get the other 300,000 units (better pricing structure for Tiguan would help!)

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    FTW -A friend working with a BMW dealership told me that BMW wanted the crown and was pushing strong Lease deals to win the Lux crown

    Just because it is fun to keep MB when they are down, Do their total numbers include the MB Sprinter?

  • avatar
    Alwaysinthecar

    In the copy you say BMW sold 247,907. And that’s what the chart says, too. Then you said that Daimler sold 245,192 Mercedes (although other auto industry sites say 245,231 for Mercedes and so does Reuters.) But the chart says Daimler sold 261,769 Mercedes. The chart separates Mini and Smart but doesn’t separate out Sprinter. Did Daimler then sell 16,577 Sprinters in the USA in 2011? But the other sites (and Reuters) say that the total for Daimler (Smart and Sprinter included) was 254,460 for all Daimler AG/MBUSA sales. The 254,460 sounds more plausible given the figures for Smart and the normally low sales of Sprinters in the US (mostly ambulances.) You have a figure of 267,016 for all Daimler AG/MBUSA sales. I think your chart and your copy is incorrect for Daimler.

    • 0 avatar

      The table is the official table from Automotive News [sub].

      The data are excerpts from a Bloomberg article, which AN also had used. The article says:

      “Mercedes U.S. deliveries, aided by a refreshed C-Class sedan and redesigned M-Class sport-utility vehicle, rose 28 percent to 25,701 vehicles in December, Mercedes said in its statement. Deliveries of Mercedes vehicles for the year rose 13 percent to 245,192 in the U.S.

      The results exclude Daimler’s Mercedes Sprinter and Freightliner vans, and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, which aren’t luxury vehicles. The 2011 full-year figures also exclude sales of the Maybach brand.”

      Daimler says in its statement regarding Sprinters:

      “Separately, sales of Sprinter Vans also increased by 15.7% in December with sales of 1,595 – bringing a year-to-date total of 16,577 (up 93.7 % for the year).”

      261,769 – 16,577 = 245,192

      • 0 avatar
        Alwaysinthecar

        That’s a lot of Sprinters. I wonder what pumped it up to 93.7%? Some big fleet contract(?) Reuters has reported a different number than Bloomberg for Mercedes (245,231) which of course isn’t much to make any difference but that number is now being utilized by news media who use Reuters’ services.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    yeah, what’s up with Sprinter? I personally think they are cool but the price is soo high and read a lot of negative stuff on your site.

    The drifting video is hilarious!


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