BMW outguns Mercedes-Benz both in sales and incentives in the US in 2014

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 16, 2015

BMW outsold Mercedes-Benz in the United States in 2014. But behind that, BMW also outspent Mercedes in the US in terms of incentives. In fact, while both German luxury carmakers increase their incentive spending, BMW was shelling out over $670 per vehicle more than Mercedes. Both carmakers also managed to break their previous sales records in the US.

BMW's average incentive spending per sale jumped 32 percent or $1,198 last year to $4,910, according to Autodata. On the other hand, average incentive spending per sale at Mercedes, excluding Sprinter, climbed 11 percent or $433 to $4,237. The incentive gap between BMW and Mercedes also widened from 2013, when the former was spending an average of $3,712 and the latter an average of $3,804.

The reversal in the average incentive spending also translated to a reversal in the No. 1 and No. 2 posts. Jesse Toprak, chief analyst for, remarked that BMW’s extra boost of incentive spending in December allowed it to sell enough volume to surpass Mercedes for the full year.

Aside from higher incentives, BMW also took advantage of the strong demand for luxury crossovers. In fact, BMW sold 18-percent more X5s in 2014 to 47,031 units. Sales of the 3- and 4-series, meanwhile, grew 19 percent to 142,232 cars in 2014.

A BMW dealer in Michigan told Automotive News that the carmaker’s momentum benefited from a versatile product lineup.

On other matters, Lexus is steadily eating away the gap the BMW and Mercedes has built in recent years, without spending as much as its German rivals. Data showed that Lexus spent $3,064 per vehicle on incentives in 2014, but managed to sell over 300,000 vehicles in the US.

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