BMW regained its crown as the best-selling luxury carmaker in the United States after posting a 10-percent jump in sales in 2014 to 339,738 units. The 2013 leader, Mercedes-Benz, only surged 6 percent in 2014 to 330,391. Their performances in the last month of 2014 proved to be the difference as BMW logged an 11-percent gain in December to 41,526 deliveries, while Mercedes only posted a 3-percent leap to 34,009 vehicles.
Mercedes had a slow start in 2014 no thanks to a limited supply for its best-selling CLA sedan. Around 75 percent of CLA buyers were first-time Mercedes buyers before and were attracted by its relatively low price. Mercedes, however, hiked the sedan’s starting price in December from $29,900 to $31,500.
On the other hand, Lexus logged a 14-percent in US deliveries in 2014 to 311,389 units, after selling 15 percent more vehicles in December at 39,879 vehicles. Lexus’ continued surge in US sales comes even after it decided not to match the sub-$30,000 prices of Audi and Mercedes for entry-level cars.
The growths at the luxury brands were thanks to a surging stock market, low interest rates and attractive leasing offers.
Alec Gutierrez, an analyst for KBB.com, remarked that low interest rates and high resale values have trimmed leasing costs, thus making it more appealing for customers to pick this option to almost three out of 10 buyers, with the lease rate for luxury vehicles at almost double.
He added demand for luxury vehicles were also boosted by new entry-level cars and SUVs, strong consumer confidence and a resurgent stock market.