The race is on for the best-selling luxury carmaker in the United States for 2014 and as early as January, Mercedes-Benz is already leading against archrival BMW. Mercedes, which was the best-selling premium carmaker in the US in 2013, sold 22,604 vehicles in January, compared to BMW’s 18,253. Lexus, meanwhile, logged a 9-percent hike to 17,637 in January, boosted by the entry-level IS and the RX SUV.
Mercedes and BMW are among the luxury carmakers aiming to expand sales by launching lower-cost models. Bloomberg Industries expects sales of entry-level cars and SUVs to represent 67 percent of the US luxury market. Mercedes is seen to benefit from a full year of its CLA that starts at $29,900, a refreshed C class and a new GLA small SUV. BMW, meanwhile, is launching a 2-series coupe that starts at $33,025.
"That's where the growth is going to come from," Kevin Tynan, a Bloomberg Industries analyst remarked that entry level cars and SUVs are where the growth at luxury carmakers will come from. He added that as luxury carmaker get more significant penetration to the entry car and SUV market, “volumes will go up."
Mercedes’ sales in January were also boosted by a 37-percent hike for its S class while BMW’s were helped by a combined 34-percent surge for its 3 series and 4 series and a 26-percent jump for the 5 series. The number, however, excludes sales of Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand since they aren't luxury vehicles. In 2013, Mercedes outsold BMW by just 3,254 vehicles.