Ranked thirteenth among American-owned brands, Volvo cracks the Top 5 European sellers despite an absolutely wretched year in U.S. showrooms. Volvo sells just one SUV, and it’s a softie, but the cars aren’t exactly known for fuel efficiency. Plus, they’re three-quarters of the way to luxury. In other words, a recession mixed with high fuel prices hurt Volvo.
#4- Audi: 87,760
During some months of 2008, this VW luxury subsidiary looked like it might have the legs to post improved sales for the year. In the end, all of Audi’s new models combined for small decline of 6.1%.
#3- Volkswagen: 223,128
So close to improvement, Volkswagen made good on a new diesel in the Jetta and the introduction of the Tiguan and Routan to post a small slide of 3.2%. VW’s rude health elsewhere makes up for small American sales issues.
#2- Mercedes-Benz: 225,128
Beaten by its main rival again, Mercedes can take solace in one figure: BMW slid further than Mercedes. Sales decayed by just 11.2% for Daimler, but 15.2% for the better-selling BMW range.
#1- BMW: 249,113
A reinvigorated 3-Series lineup helped propel BMW to tops in European automakers competing in America. One quarter of a million sales isn’t as good as last year’s total which neared 3/10ths of a million…. but BMW can remain content that they’ve weathered the storm and are well positioned to continue toppling Mercedes-Benz in the U.S.A.