U.S. sales of Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and BMW AG’s namesake brand are on a quicker pace early in 2011 compared to Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus, which for 11 years has led annual sales among luxury brands. The U.S. sales of Mercedes increased by 11% from a year ago to 16,398 units.
BMW posted a 21% climb to 15,905, while Lexus said that sales fell by 17% to 12,860. Lexus has held the top luxury sales spot in the U.S. since 2000.
Sales of the German carmakers are boosted by their new models. BMW's redesigned X3 SUV has arrived in showrooms and Mercedes intends to produce a refreshed C-Class sedan, the brand's volume leader. Jesse Toprak, an industry analyst with TrueCar.com, said that there will likely be “another photo finish” in 2011.
In 2010, Lexus’ lead over BMW fell to 9,216 in 2010, less than half the 19,473 difference in 2009. Lexus’ U.S. sales in 2010 increased by 6.2% to 229,329.
Meanwhile, BMW's U.S. sales climbed by 12% to 220,113 in 2010 while Mercedes posted a 14% increase to 216,448. These sales figures exclude Daimler's Sprinter vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, which are not considered luxury vehicles. [via autonews - sub. required]