Mercedes-Benz bets on SUVs to keep its spot the luxury car sales race in U.S

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 3, 2012

Mercedes-Benz wants to return to the top spot in the luxury car sales segment in the U.S. by introducing new and updated sport-utility vehicles. Mercedes-Benz’s deliveries in the U.S. expanded by 18% this year until May, to achieve 106,364 luxury vehicles. This places Mercedes ahead of BMW AG, which outperformed Toyota’s Lexus (the No. 1 luxury brand for the past decade).

Mercedes was No. 1 before Lexus came along in 2000. Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with researcher IHS Automotive, said that Mercedes is relying on its redesigned and refreshed sedans and trucks to get back to the top. Already, Mercedes has gotten gains from the release last year of a new M-Class SUV, a new C-Class Coupe and a refreshed C-Class sedan.

U.S. showrooms will receive an updated GLK compact SUV this August while a new GL-Class large SUV will follow in September. The U.S. market is a fiercely contested market as BMW, Mercedes and Audi raise their game to be top-selling luxury brand in the world. Around the world from January through May, Mercedes is at third place with 531,382 vehicles. Audi sold 600,200 units to earn it the No. 2 rank. Meanwhile, BMW is on top with 607,207 deliveries.

BMW said that its luxury sales in the U.S. increased by 14% through May to 104,779 units. According to Ludwig Willisch, head of BMW's U.S. operations, the brand is expected to stay at No. 1 this year as it will present redesigned 3 Series this February. In the third quarter of this year, it will present an all-wheel-drive version of the 3 Series and the new X1 small SUV in the U.S. They’re all anticipated to increase BMW sales in the second half of 2012.

Topics: mercedes-benz, suv, sales

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