Beginning in 2011, Lexus lost its title as the best-selling luxury manufacturer in the United States. It held that position for 11 years. BMW, which performed comparatively well throughout the recession, took its place at the top spot, with Mercedes coming in second.
This year BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been locked in the tightest of battles. Both manufacturers are posting record sales numbers, thanks to fresh lineups and alluring incentives. Through November, Mercedes has led with 246,000 vehicles sold versus BMW, with 244,000.
Recently though, Automotive News reported that Mercedes conceded the race for the top spot to BMW. Figures for December aren’t in yet, but these executives have access to data we don’t. The reason for the concession comes down to BMW’s heavy advertising and incentives program for the month of December. “I don’t think we’re going to win the sales race this year” says Steve Cannon, the head of Mercedes-Benz USA. That’s because Mercedes spokeswoman Donna Boland says that BMW “pulls some very large numbers.”
A BMW with a bow thanks to a sweet lease deal…pretty tempting right? Cannon says there wasn’t a big push at Mercedes to claim the title. Mercedes expects to finish the year with around 270,000 units sold, a record number in the U.S. Globally, things are less tight, with BMW in the lead. Lexus, meanwhile, has fallen further behind, with a third place showing. Next year Lexus is expected to mount a comeback of sorts, with the redesigned ES going on sale and further growth with the GS. A return to number one is unlikely though, at least for the foreseeable future. The the next-generation IS, due at the North American International Auto Show next month, would have to be a big hit for that to happen. Time will tell; BMW and Mercedes-Benz are near dead even in the sales race. For Mercedes, the E-Class will get a nice update for the 2014 model year.