All of the Germanluxury car brands keep rolling out new products that they think will substantiallyraise their volumes and their market share, even though the overall luxury carmarket is staying flat or even shrinking and there's no rational expectation ofthis changing anytime soon.
Despite the factthat every German luxury brand on the Canadian market (except Porsche) added anew model (i.e. something they weren't selling before) to their lineups in thepast 12 months, almost all of their car sales fell in October and all of theslight gains for the first 10 months are due to growth in their SUV business.
Audi sales wereoff 26.2 percent in October, bringing 2004's total sales volume down 3.8 percent,the new A8 and A6 notwithstanding. VW's upscale brand is however is still upconsiderably from where it was in 2002.
In the samemonth, sales of the Mini brand were off 17.0 percent despite the introductionof the convertible model, which gives the brand a growth rate of 8.0 over thefirst 10 months 0f 2004, compared with a growth rate of 26.8 percent from 2002to 2003.
When one combinesthe two car lines (as BMW Canada likes to do), it leaves the BMW Car Group witha 13.5 drop in sales in October and a growth rate of just 1.5 percent for theyear-to-date. A year ago, the BMW Car Group registered an increase of 4.3percent for the first 10 months, mostly on the strength of the newly-releasedMini.
In the last twoyears, therefore, BMW Car Group sales have gone up about 6 percent, though thisis the firm that is promising to double its sales in the next two or threeyears from where it was in 2002.
Most of thatdrop is the result of falling car sales, which were down 35.0 percent inOctober and 12.5 percent for the year. Sales of the German firm's SUVs were up 10.6percent in October, but are still off 7.1 for the year.
Porscheregistered an 3.7 percent increase in October, entirely on the strength ofcontinuing demand for the Cayenne SUV. While