Mercedes-Benz started out strong in the first month of 2014 in the United States as it tries to defend its 2013 luxury sales crown. The luxury car maker logged a 103-percent surge in sales in January to 22,604 units, led by the new entry-level CLA car, according to a statement. BMW, meanwhile, surged 11 percent to 18,253.
Mercedes and BMW are among luxury car makers trying to increase their sales by offering lower-cost models. Bloomberg Industries expects sales of entry-level cars and sports utility vehicles to account for 67 percent of the US luxury market this year. It expects Mercedes to benefit from a full year of its $29,900 CLA, a refreshed C-class and a new GLA small SUV, and BMW from a $33,025 2-series coupe.
"That's where the growth is going to come from," Kevin Tynan, a Bloomberg Industries analyst, said in an interview with Bloomberg. "As they get more significant penetration to the entry car and SUV market, volumes will go up," he said.
Mercedes also benefited from a 37-percent surge on sales for its S-class. BMW, meanwhile, saw a combined 34 percent jump for its 3 series and 4 series and a 26 percent increase for the 5 series.
The figures, however, exclude Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, since they aren't luxury vehicles.
Lexus, meanwhile, logged an 8.8-percent hike in US sales to 17,637 in January, boosted by the entry-level IS and the RX SUV. In 2013, Mercedes outsold BMW by 3,254 vehicles, to claim the crown as the best-selling US luxury carmaker in the US, based on reported sales.