BMW is optimistic that the addition of all-wheel drive to its popular 3-Series model will help rally the company past rival Mercedes-Benz to become the United States' best-selling luxury brand for the second straight year.
BMW topped Mercedes in total U.S. luxury sales last year, but a freshened Mercedes lineup combined with the lack of an all-wheel drive 3-Series model saw BMW slip to the No. 2 spot early in 2012. BMW has been in Mercedes' rear view mirror ever since, but BMW expects that to change by the time the calendar flips.
“We were lacking cars for three or four months, now we are fueling up,” Ludwig Willisch, head of BMW’s U.S. Operations, told Bloomberg.
Although BMW's redesigned 3-Series has been on the market for most of the year, a lack of all-wheel drive has hampered sales in typically strong 3-Series markets like New York and Boston where winter weather is a top concern.
Through August BMW has recorded 164,636 U.S. deliveries, just trailing Mercedes-Benz' 168,462 U.S. sales.