BMW widens its lead over Mercedes at the half-year mark

BMW more than doubled its U.S. sales lead over Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz in June with a strong performance from its fresher line of SUVs.

Deliveries jumped 7.5 percent last month to 31,627, paced by the diminutive X3 crossover and three-row X7 sport utility vehicle. BMW sales rose 2 percent at the half-year mark, building a lead over Mercedes of more than 9,000 units.

Sales for Mercedes, which held the luxury crown the past three years, were little changed in June from a year ago at 26,196 units, leaving the Daimler division down 7.2 percent in the first half. Deliveries plunged more than 30 percent for both the C-Class sedan and GLS crossover.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus deliveries slipped 3 percent in June, leaving the brand up 0.5 percent year-to-date. The ES sedan was the only high-volume Lexus model to gain in June.

Boeing offers $100 million to families of 737 Max crash victims

Boeing Co. said it would offer $100 million to support the families of victims and others affected by the recent crashes of its 737 Max jetliner, which killed 346 people and have led to scores of lawsuits.

The money will go toward “education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs and economic development in impacted communities,” Boeing said Wednesday in a statement. The funds will be committed over multiple years.

The pledge — described in the statement as an “initial outreach” — underscores the high stakes for Boeing as it navigates one of the worst crises in its 103-year history. The Chicago-based planemaker has come under scrutiny from wary passengers, investors, customers and regulators after a pair of fatal crashes prompted the grounding of its marquee Max jet.

The offer comes as Boeing faces at least 80 lawsuits on behalf of victims of the accidents. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, whose grand-niece was among those who died, also has lobbied to permanently remove the plane from service.

Settling the litigation could cost Boeing about $1 billion, according to an estimate by Bloomberg Intelligence, although legal experts have said the payouts could be higher if evidence shows Boeing knew about flaws in the planes before the tragedies.

Generation Z still prefers

shopping in stores, study finds

The youngest adult consumers still prefer shopping in stores over using their laptops, Instagram feeds or Amazon’s Alexa, a according to a recent Morning Consult study.

“Gen Z is on track to be the largest, most ethnically diverse, best-educated, and most financially powerful generation ever,” the report states. “In the coming years, their distinctive habits will play an outsized role in shaping American culture and commerce.”

This younger generation, which the report defined as Americans born between 1997 and 2012, began spending money when two-day delivery was common, “driving high expectations about convenience,” according to the report, based on a May survey of about 3,000 U.S. adults, including about 1,000 adults ages 18 to 21.

Still, 55 percent of Gen Z women said they preferred going into stores. That number is lower for Gen Z men, at 40 percent, and is 53% for all other adults. Two-thirds of the younger generation shoppers go shopping for fun at least once a month.

“Gen Z adults are enamored with major technology and social media brands but also enjoy shopping in-person,” the report concludes.

Google, Google Search, YouTube, Gmail and Instagram are the top five brands Gen Z survey respondents said they are most likely to use daily. The next five are Google Chrome, Snapchat, Netflix, Apple iMessage and Apple iPhone.

— From news services