The deliveries of Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz in May rose 19% to 22,515 units, keeping the top spot in the luxury vehicle segment in the U.S. BMW remains at No. 2, with a 7.3% increase to 22,168. Meanwhile, the Lexus brand of Toyota Motor Corp. recovered from shortages in the inventory after the calamity in Japan, increasing by 74% to 21,463 units.
Researcher TrueCar.com revealed that when it comes to incentives, Lexus had a 37% increase while Mercedes-Benz had a 23% climb and BMW gained by 0.8%. TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak said that in many of the key markets, leasing accounted for about three-quarters of sales.
It’s typical for luxury-vehicle incentives to take the form of lease offers. Last year, both BMW and Mercedes outperformed Lexus. BMW was the No. 1 luxury brand in the U.S. in 2011. For the first quarter of 2012, BMW sold 36 more units than Mercedes. Mercedes sales for the year until May rose by 18% to 106,364, giving the brand a 1,585-unit lead over BMW (with a 14% increase for the same period).
During the first five months, Lexus deliveries increased by 14% to 88,110 units. Daimler’s Sprinter vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand are excluded as they are not luxury vehicles. In a statement, Mercedes said that its total sales were helped by a 35% increase in deliveries of its updated C-Class sedan and a 66% improvement in sales of the M-Class sport-utility vehicles.