Mercedes-Benz overtakes Bmw in February, extends U.S. luxury lead

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 5, 2013

The U.S. sales of Mercedes-Benz grew by 22% in February 2013 as it further widened its lead this year in the luxury auto segment. Mercedes hopes to oust BMW, which took the top spot last year. Mercedes had its best February ever with deliveries of 22,040 units. Sales of the C-class sedan certainly helped, with a 39% increase to 7,302.

On the other hand, BMW-brand sales rose by 0.5% to 21,311 units, driven by a 22% increase in deliveries of its X5 SUV. Lexus sales climbed 3.9% to 17,339 units, led by the RX SUV, which increased by 20% to 6,938 units delivered. In the last two years, Lexus had lost the No. 1 spot and this left Mercedes and BMW competing closely to be the top luxury-auto brand in the U.S.

Researcher R.L. Polk & Co. said that based on reported sales, BMW had a surge in December 2012, leading to its second straight win in terms of U.S. sales. But when vehicle registrations are counted, Mercedes did better than BMW.

In a recent interview, Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, said that the company is still working with the momentum from last year and that it has yet to benefit from the launch of its new products. Mercedes sales increased by 16% to 44,541 units in the first two months of the year. Meanwhile, BMW's deliveries in 2013 have risen by 0.6% to 37,824. Lexus had a 16% sales increase to 33,550.

These sales reports exclude Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, which are not luxury vehicles. For 11 years, Lexus was the No. 1 luxury brand in the U.S. in terms of sales but because of natural disasters in Asia in 2011, its production suffered. Mercedes aired a commercial for the CLA sedan at the recently held Super Bowl that featured Kate Upton, Usher and Willem Dafoe. This ad had given the sales of the C-class a major boost. The CLA sedan, with a $29,900 price tag, will start selling this September.

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