BMW closes in on Mercedes on US luxury sales race

Article by Anita Panait, on August 2, 2013

BMW managed to close the luxury sales lead of German rival Mercedes-Benz in the United States, thanks to higher sales of its 3 series cars and X5 sports utility vehicles in July. BMW brand sales surged 13 percent year-on-year in July to 24,043. On the other hand, Mercedes sales hiked 23-percent year-on-year to 23,648.

Threatening nearby is Lexus, which logged a 26-percent jump in sales to 23,031 units. BMW’s higher sales in July allowed it to inch closer to Mercedes in the race to become the best-selling luxury carmaker in the US this year. Mercedes’ lead over is now only 1,124 vehicles.

Mercedes has been trying to oust BMW from the luxury sales throne, in which the latter has been sitting on for the past two years. In the first seven months of 2013, Mercedes gained 12 percent to 165,598 luxury units while BMW grew 11 percent to 164,474 vehicles.

Lexus, meanwhile, soared 12 percent to 141,446 vehicles this year through July. The figures don't include Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, since they aren't luxury vehicles.

Last month, Daimler AG chief Dieter Zetsche indicated that Mercedes might not be able to become the best-selling luxury carmaker this year. In terms of vehicle registrations, Mercedes ranked first in the US in 2012, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co.

Sales of BMW’s top-selling 3 series grew 29 percent in July to 9,890 units, boosted by the new 320i. Deliveries of the X5 jumped 17 percent to 2,674 units. On Mercedes’ side, sales of the C-class sedan surged 34 percent to 7,604 units while deliveries of the M-class SUV hiked 73 percent to 3,092. As for Lexus, sales of its ES sedan jumped 62 percent while its RX SUV grew 15 percent. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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