By on August 18, 2014

BMW X4BMW USA reported their first X4 sales in July 2014, 262 in all.

Former and even current BMW fans are apt to be disgusted by the notion of a less practical, more costly X3, particularly if those fans are in the large group of onlookers who also believe the X4 is the less stylish option, as well.

Yet while the X6 hasn’t become a high-volume product for BMW, it hasn’t had a negative impact on its X5 donor vehicle. Likewise, it’s unlikely that the X4 will eat into the X3’s volume, at least not to the extent that lost X3 sales won’t be made up by the additional X4s.

Of the 26,409 BMWs sold in the United States in July 2014, 23% were X models (not including xDrive variants of BMW passenger cars.)

Sales of the X1 plunged 54% to 1003 units, the X1’s lowest monthly U.S. sales total since its first month on the market in August 2012. BMW USA averaged just over 2200 monthly X1 sales in 2013, but that average has fallen below 1800 units in 2014; below 1100 units over the last four months. Year-to-date, X1 sales are down 13%.

X3 sales are up 43% this year but slid 25%, a loss of 534 units, in July 2014. With 23,367 sales so far this year, the X3 leads the Mercedes-Benz GLK by 859 units and the Audi Q5 by 250 units. Acura has sold 25,881 copies of the RDX so far this year. It’s a hugely competitive sector.

Second quarter X6 volume slid 19%, but July sales shot up 216% to 669 units, 11% of BMW’s X model sales. July marked the third-highest-volume X6 sales month in the last two years. Annually, X6 sales peaked at 6749 units in the United States in 2012 but fell 18% in 2013, the model’s sixth year on the market. Contrast the X6’s 669 July sales with 384 6-Series sales, 544 7-Series sales, and 638 2-Series (and leftover 1-Series) sales to gain greater perspective on the X6’s relative popularity.

Even with a bit of help from the X4, BMW’s five SAVs declined 13% in July, although the three higher-end models – X4, X5, and X6 – combined for a 25% improvement. Through the end of July, these five models are up 11%.

Lexus generated a 23% improvement between the surging GX, LX, and preium-leading RX in July. With 11,861 sales, they produced 43% of Lexus’s U.S. sales total during a month in which Lexus outsold all other premium brands. Acura’s three crossovers, including seven ZDX sales, were up 3% to 9822 units, 79% of Acura’s July sales.

Mercedes-Benz sold 9038 Gs, GLs, GLKs, and MLs in July, a 9% improvement. These four vehicles accounted for 33% of the non-Sprinter Benzes sold in America last month. Cadillac’s new Escalade powered a 26% gain from the brand’s three high-riding products, the regular wheelbase Escalade, Escalade ESV, and SRX. 8493 were sold in total, 56% of all Cadillac sales.

Audi’s 5001 Q5 and Q7 sales represented a 1% increase, and 34% of the brand’s total July sales. Land Rover’s 4643 sales (up 15%) produced 80% of Jaguar-Land Rover’s volume. Aided by 1534 MKC sales, Lincoln’s four utilities were up 48%, or 1485 units, to 4557, 58% of Lincoln’s total volume.

Infiniti’s four SUVs and crossovers were down 5% last month to 3783 sales, 44% of Infiniti’s total volume. Porsche sold 2498 Cayennes and Macans, a 60% year-over-year increase. They accounted for 58% of all Porsche sales. Volvo sold 2112 XC60s and XC90s, a 17% decline. The XC60 and XC90 were responsible for 43% of Volvo’s July volume.

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40 Comments on “BMW’s X4 Era Begins...”

  • avatar

    Nothing says “ultimate driving machine”like Kia Rondo styling cues up front with a Honda Crosstour badonkadonk goin’ on out back.

    And it’s got smarties for wheels.

  • avatar

    BMW X1 sales can be planned here:

  • avatar

    And the BMW slide as a sports car company continues. This thing is Dodge Calibar ugly

    • 0 avatar

      Same moans as Porsche purists, not realizing that sales of these allow for M4s, i8s to continue to be developed. BMW is a car company not a sports car company and it is in the business of selling cars people want. Their sales continue to grow year after year despite the moans of the purists (most who still own a 2002 or e30 and have no money to buy a new BMW anyway

      • 0 avatar

        I am by no way a Bimmer purist, I would not buy a new Bimmer as they are not my cup of tea, but you are right they are a car company and if it sells I guess it works for them, but no way around it this thing is Fugly

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        An alternative perspective, for Porsche at least:

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve posted those same sentiments before and agree wholeheartedly. I’m not a nut-hugging BMW fan but the facts are clear; M3, M4, M5, M6, (upcoming) M2, M235i, 328d, 4/335i, 650i ect.. BMW makes a ton of great vehicles but yet people get all butthurt over a few crossovers diluting the brand. I get it, BMW made ‘drivers cars’ in the 80s and 90s. Now they make 3x as many driver’s cars as they did with a handful of revenue builders. How many other car mainstream/high volume manufacturers build anything comparable? If you want anything from super sports car to a horrendously hideous SUV, BMW has you covered. To quote Willy Wonka ” But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted… he lived happily ever after”

  • avatar

    All of BMW’s stuff is obnoxious, to me. I looked at an X1 yesterday, out of mild curiosity, and was amazed to find a model for over $41k without navigation of any kind. For those keeping track at home, that’s $8k in options and not one of them adds anything related to navigation or infotainment.

    The only thing an X1 or X3 has that something like a loaded Ford Escape doesn’t have, to somebody like me, is a beefy engine with a nice 0-60. There’s simply no way I can wrap my mind around an X3 that starts 7-8 grand more than an Escape, et al, are loaded out at, and for that price (on the X3) you get no options and I believe cloth seats. Incredible.

    Sorry, end rant.

    • 0 avatar

      This is where Japanese premium marques win me over. They offer you leather, MANY more standard options, and usually a larger engine than the BMW choice – at the same cost. And I’m sure somebody will say “Oh but no BMW has superior driving dynamics etc etc.” but I am sort of doubting that these days. Maybe in a couple of models they’ve retained their essence, but not across this vast expanse of silly new cover-every-corner models.

      IMO Mercedes does this to an equal extent, and I think Audi throws a bit more at you in the base ones. I could be wrong about that however, as I am prone to give Audi the benefit of the doubt*.

      *The only models I like of theirs currently though, are the A5/S5 and the A7.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        There’s nothing more comfortable than a BMW sports seat. The long, adjustable thigh bolsters are far better than those offered by the Japanese competition, which often seem to be designed for guys who are 5’5″ tall. I’m only 5’9″ and my thighs still hang over the seat cushion on many Jap cars.

        • 0 avatar

          I would have to disagree, say what you want about the swedes ( Saab and Volvo) but their seats are the best hands down.

          • 0 avatar

            As someone who has owned/driven many Saabs I would kind of agree with Seth, but if you’re over 6′, the thigh extension on a BMW sport seat is the best. I can’t imagine a car without it, at this point.

        • 0 avatar
          Car Ramrod

          I want to agree about BMW sport seats, but at 6’4″ I’m too tall to get the most from them. In my E39, my legs don’t touch the bolster because my knees are up too high, but I can’t reach the wheel if I move any further back.

          Also, the air bladder for the lumbar support is prone to popping and is nearly impossible to replace.

          I bet the’re great for the 6’1″ and under crowd, though.

        • 0 avatar

          I wouldn’t buy a BMW without the Comfort Seats. The ones in my friend’s E70 X5 are *sooo* sublime, especially on a long trip.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, BMW and other Germans are basically a badge of wheels. Moreover, they seriously nickel and dime you on all the options. The base price is always somewhere in the neighborhood of Japanese, but any car equipped the way people really want or the car you can find at the dealership will always add at least 10 grand in options and packages. For 2-3 series, even color other than white and black is a pay option. Perhaps it’s nice and dandy for people who like to piss away the money.

      The Japanese do need to learn from BMW that they need to build a lot more halo or drivers cars. BMW does have a few “drivers cars” in the portfolio, which does give BMWs at least some cred in claiming to be the ultimate driving machine.

    • 0 avatar

      I much prefer to have a choice of equipment over the Japanese approach. I don’t want all that crap.

  • avatar

    I understand “small”, “medium”, and “large” variants of a given model line, but I thought the X3 filled the small category and the X5 was the medium. What role is the X4 playing?

  • avatar

    I seem to recall from years ago that some of the B&B, rightly, were complaining about how dependent the Big 3 domestic manufacturers were on trucks and SUV’s. Well Acura and to a lesser extent Lexus are dependent on SUV sales and don`t hold a candle to the Germans in car sales.

  • avatar

    I just helped by elderly parents car shop this summer, and we test drove 12 different models from 6 different manufacturers ranging from BMW to KIA, including the X3, X1, Escape, CRV, and Forester. My parents ended up with an X3 after starting out thinking about a sedan. Why are cross-overs so popular? Because most sedans and coupes today have such swoopy styling that they provide difficult entry/exit, and poor visibility from the cockpit. The X4 and X6 are for people that don’t like the station wagon styling of the X3 and X5, but want the easier access, better visibility of a cross-over with somewhat sportier lines.

    As for what BMW provides that cheaper brands mostly do not: better seats (same quality on driver and passenger side), quicker acceleration, quieter ride, better fuel economy, better ride and handling, and more nicely finished interior (particularly the backseat and luggage areas), plus free maintenance for 4 years and longer warranty. The BMW ride and drive advantages are due to better technology such as 8 speed autos, full-time 4WD, and variable valve timing that the cheaper brands tend to not have, and which are not visible to the casual shopper. Some might not think these advantages are worth the price difference, or prefer a loaded Escape or CRV to a stripper X1/X3, but after trying them all my parents liked the BMW best and after getting a good offer on the X3 found the price difference with the cheaper brands wasn’t as big as they expected.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike N.

      Like you said they just feel nicer, plus they are more fun to drive. I paid more for a one year old X5 than a comparable new 2014 Grand Cherokee (actually the GC had more toys) I was cross-shopping, but after driving both I knew which one I wanted.

      • 0 avatar

        BMW X3/X6 are basically wagons on stilts. Of course they’re more fun to drive on a normal road, than a GC. GC was actually designed for decent off road performance. On the other hand BMW SUVs blow once the pavement ends. So for course, BMW SUVs are more fun, because they’re based on sedan platforms. But then, one could say that by translation the sedan is even more fun to drive than its raised wagon version.

    • 0 avatar

      The visibility of sedans is just fine, as always. The real problem is that where I drive, most vehicles on the road are trucks and SUVs. SUV drivers think that, for the sake of their own improved visibility, not only they’re entitled to drive a big ass SUV that blocks the view from behind, but that they all also absolutely need to tint the rear window, to block whatever visibility was still left after raising their vehicle on the stilts. People don’t seem to realize that when this arms race ends, everyone will be driving a wagon or hatch on stilts and everyone will have only the average visibility just where we started..

  • avatar

    Here I will add that the X1 is the most lamesauce looking new vehicle I’ve seen, right up there with the CLA.

    • 0 avatar

      Here I will vehemently disagree with you. The X1 suffers typical BMW cost:content ratio issues, but its handsome in a way the froggy CLA couldn’t even come close to.

  • avatar

    I don’t see what everyone is crying about.

    A Z4 is the “X4” version of a 3 series. A CR-Z is the “X4” version of a Fit. My 350Z is the “X4” version of a G35. Etc. etc.

    And if you are going to cry about SUVs, cry about sports cars too. Cry about performance cars, and luxury cars as well. Because if the problem is excess, then anything beyond a base Toyota Corolla is in the crosshairs of damnnation.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    The smaller SUVs like the X3 and X1 are awkwardly styled with the greenhouse pinched in relative to the belt line and wheels. I’d take a used X5 over a new X3 or X1.

  • avatar

    The stat that leapt off the page at me wasn’t even about BMW at all:

    79% of all Acura sales were the MDX and RDX alone? Wow. Do they ever need the TLX to be a hit.

  • avatar

  • avatar

    Wow, I’m shocked that nobody is buying a $30K warmed over Civic and a $60K mega Accord with probably the worst NAV/infotainment setup in the segment. Wait, I meant the opposite of shocked.

    Note to Acura – kill off the ILX and the RLX. Pour everything you have into SUVs. Nobody cares about your cars at all beyond the TL(X).

    • 0 avatar

      Hey, I really liked the RL from 00 until the end. Those last couple years of the big RL will make a great used buy in just a couple years. And rare as well. The 00-04 was brilliant except for being so Accord-y, and the 05-09 was great except for some interior quality fails.

  • avatar

    I just threw up in my mouth a lit…..oh a new BMW. Yeah, as I was saying.

  • avatar

    I used to think that BMWs were the best looking vehicles on the road, but now they’re just garish and nothing that I would be caught dead in. When I was younger I thought Mercedes looked hideous and obnoxious. Somewhere along the lines that flipped.

    Now, I’m heavily gravitating toward Audi as making the best looking cars on the road.

    Unrelated question: is there an element of Mercedes versus BMW in Germany similar to the Ford versus Chevy debate in the US with Audi and Chrysler holding similar odd-man-out positions?

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, I agree, BMW styling is not all that anymore and Mercedes has a ways to go, though some of ther cars are now better looking than BMW’s. I also agree Audi has put out a very nice looking batch of cars, probably their best since late 80s, early 90s.

      As to German car buyers, I know MB buyers used to turn their noses on BMW buyers and that nowadays both groups collectibely turn their noses on Audis. What really happens in Germany is that Germans love to look down on non German cars. German cars being MB, BMW, Audi, VW, Opel and Fords. But buy a Cadillac, Toyota, Renault or Fiat and many will look down on you or have sympathy for you as they’ll tend to see you as eccentric.

      Talking in very broad strokes here people, ok? I know it does not apply to each and every German, but as a broad view, from what I’ve experienced, this is relatively tru.

  • avatar

    When my cat drops something that looks like that in the sand, he buries it. It’s basic dignity at work. There are so many years of so many stylish and sophisticated BMW’s; all now serving to highlight that these even numbered X cars are jarringly, offensively, shockingly ugly.

  • avatar

    Ugly + not a domestic mfg + badge whore brand = profit.

  • avatar

    Besides the i and M models, and the motorbikes, BMW is such a boring company. All of their interiors look the same, all of their exteriors look the same, they’re overpriced, expensive to maintain, not very reliable, and don’t have any redeeming characteristics. Besides, all of the used ones around here are auction cars from Florida or the northeast (big buying no-no).

    If I wanted a nice sedan with Premium fuel and coming from a luxury brand, I’d probably get the new TLX. That thing is pretty.

  • avatar

    “From the prestigious-hideous-pointless cars series BMW brings you”….

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