In the heated battle for US luxury sales supremacy, BMW
are head-to-head, but BMW reported 21,297 sales last month to take a 1,900 lead on rival Mercedes.
But those figures may not be as accurate as they appear. It’s no secret that automakers of all shapes and sizes will boost their sales numbers however way they can; but BMW is being called out for boosting it with dealership demo car sales – which aren’t really ending up as demo cars. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the German automaker offered its dealerships demo vehicles at discounts of up to $7,000 as a one-day, last-day-of-the-month promotion.
Those units sold were documented as sales by the automaker, but those dealerships are actually throwing those cars onto the lots and selling them as new. That means there are still plenty of those cars sitting on the showroom floor as inventory, but were counted towards BMW’s total sales count year-to-date.
But here’s the thing – this isn’t exactly an uncommon practice. In fact, Mercedes has been accused of doing the same in the past, and it’d be no real big surprise if other automakers did the same. Unfortunately, when there’s such a heated debate on which luxury brand owns the US sales crown, every automaker towards the top of the list will be under extra scrutiny.
More: BMW Boosting Sales Figures with Dealership Demo Cars