BMW Feb 2010 US Sales up 16%; Market comparison to Cadillac

BMW US Sales in Feb 2010

3-Series — 6.3% growth is good in today’s market.  I would certainly be happy if CTS had growth in sales year / year.  The upcoming Cadillac ATS will have to be in this range of sales / month if it is to compete with the 3-Series.

Also note that 3-Series sales are up strongly from January 2010.  As we move further into the corporate bonus and pay raise season do BMW sales show an uptick?

5-Series — down 28.9% is worrisome.  Cadillac CTS again outsold BMW 5-Series.  A new 5-series is on the way, which may be muting sales?  Sales of the 5er are down from Jan 2010 as well.

SUV — Cadillac SRX sales in Feb of 3,465 were just below BMW SUV sales of 3,804.  More room for growth of SRX sales there.  Total Cadillac SUV sales, including Escalade, exceeded total BMW SUV sales.

Joke of the day: What does Cadillac have to do to match BMW SUV sales?  Cut Production.

Total US sales for BMW for Feb 15,100 versus Cadillac sales of 9,273 units highlights the additional runway Cadillac has for vehicle sales.  Cadillac is bringing the ATS to compete directly with the 3-Series, but it can’t get here soon enough for Sales.

Obviously the XTS to replace the fast-fading DTS would also help a great deal.

Here was the similar sheet from Jan 2010:

And here was our Feb 2010 Cadillac chart for comparison:

February (Calendar Year-to-Date)
January – February
2010 2009 % Chg Volume %Chg per S/D 2010 2009 %Chg Volume
Selling Days (S/D) 24 24
CTS 2,690 3,259 -17.5 -17.5 5,255 6,677 -21.3
DTS 611 982 -37.8 -37.8 1,229 2,344 -47.6
Escalade 1,418 1,238 14.5 14.5 2,655 2,591 2.5
Escalade ESV 552 416 32.7 32.7 948 1,088 -12.9
Escalade EXT 102 166 -38.6 -38.6 223 501 -55.5
SRX 3,542 552 541.7 541.7 6,776 1,440 370.6
STS 332 357 -7.0 -7.0 565 770 -26.6
XLR 26 68 -61.8 -61.8 62 126 -50.8
Cadillac Total 9,273 7,038 31.8 31.8 17,713 15,537 14.0

Understanding BMW sales/profits

I am still fascinated by the quoted statement from BMW in the LA Times that 50% of their profits come from the 5-Series.

Here is a chart of BMW 2009 Sales from back in January 2010:

BMW sold 40,109 5-Series vehicles, of a total of 196,502 vehicles.  For the moment let’s assume the BMW Marketeers excluded Mini sales from their figures.

Normally I would have expected the profit rate on the SUVs was very high, but BMW sold almost the same number of SUVs as 5-Series sales.  So their profit margin on the SUVs are much lower than the 5-Series?  The profit level on the 3-Series and 1-Series are lower as well?

Certainly because the price tag of the vehicles differs sharply:

3-Series: $33-45K

5-Series: $45K-$63K

SUVs: $39K-$67K

So something seems odd here, if the SUVs have the same price range as the 5-Series but are much less profitable?  It may have to do with pedestrian issues, such as the 5-Series is an older model and so has already paid off its tooling costs (a new model is on the way now).

Or it could simply have been the type of thing Marketing people say to emphasize that BMW 5-Series Buyers don’t mind spending a lot of money on accessories.

One final theory — perhaps BMW’s profits on the 5-Series and the SUV are both healthy, and their profit margin on the 1-Series and 3-Series are near 0?  That would fit the quote, and fit the pricing.  Still is worthwhile to HAVE the 1-Series and 3-Series in the mix, as they drive traffic.  But even at the high (to me) 3-Series prices and healthy sales BMW may not be making much money on them?