Lexus still has the lead in the luxury car segment, despite Bmw’s impressive sales

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 3, 2010

Despite BMW AG topping November sales for the luxury car segment in the US, Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus is still predicted to keep its title as the best-selling premium brand for the 11th consecutive year. In a statement last Wednesday, BMW revealed that its US sales for November increased by 30% to 20,097 when compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, Mercedes posted an 8.4% increase to 18,208, while Lexus's deliveries dropped 1.4% to 18,240. The overall leader remains to be Lexus, which has been the topseller in this segment in the US since 2000.

In the last 11 months, Lexus has delivered 201,769 vehicles, beating BMW’s 196,833 and Mercedes’ 196,288. The total figure doesn’t include non-luxury models such as BMW's Mini cars or Daimler's Smart cars and Sprinter vans.

BMW said that it expects Lexus will retain its top spot this year due to its increased incentive spending. In an interview, Jim O'Donnell, head of BMW's US unit, said that in 2011, BMW may have a chance at beating Lexus as it will offer the redesigned X3 SUV and a full line of the revamped 5 series next year. Discount-tracking Web site TrueCar.com said that Lexus had more than doubled incentives.

On the other hand, BMW and Mercedes gained due to their new products and because Toyota had to deal with a recall crisis. BMW and Mercedes offered smaller discounts last month compared to a year ago. BMW cut its sales incentives and discounts by 43% to an average of $3,162 per vehicle last month.

Meanwhile, Mercedes' decreased its sales incentives and discounts by 1% to $4,195. Compared to last year’s $1,476, Lexus increased incentives to an average of $3,124 per vehicle. Paul Ballew, chief economist for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. in Columbus, Ohio, said that the intensifying competition hints of the improving US economy. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: lexus, luxury car, bmw, sales

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