Mercedes-Benz continues to widen its lead over closest competitor and fellow German carmaker BMW for the race to become this year’s number one luxury car company in the United States in terms of sales. Mercedes posted a 19 percent year-on-year increase in US sales in May 2012 to 22,515 luxury vehicles, with BMW is following closely at 22,168 units on a 7.3 percent year-on-year hike.
Lexus completes the top three spot with US sales of 21,463 units, after posting a 74 percent year-on-year increase. Another luxury carmaker, Audi, posted a 10 percent hike in US sales in May to 11,503 units.
With the May results, Mercedes continues to distance itself from BMW in US luxury sales, selling 106,364 units in the first five months of 2012, posting an 18 percent year-on-year increase. Mercedes now holds a lead of 1,585 vehicles over BMW, which posted a 14 percent year-on-year increase for the first five months of 2012.
Lexus is in third place, logging a 14 percent year-on-year increase in US sales to 88,110 in the first five months of 2012. The results do not include the US sales figures for Daimler's Sprinter vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, since they are not considered as luxury vehicles.
According to Mercedes, its May figures were boosted by stronger deliveries for the updated C-class sedan and M-class sport-utility vehicle, which posted 35 percent and 66 percent increases respectively.
According to TrueCar.com, Lexus and Mercedes’ gains could be attributed to higher incentives. Lexus and Mercedes increased their incentives by 37 percent and 23 percent, respectively compared to BMW's 0.8 percent. Jesse Toprak, a TrueCar analyst, commented that in many key markets, leasing can make up three-quarters of sales.
Now on its third generation, the new M-Class from Mercedes-Benz comes equipped with the latest in automotive technology ensuring that it sets new standards in the SUV class. There are a number of class-leading characteristics in the M-Class like its class-leading passive safety and its highly optimized energy efficiency.
It also delivers excellent ride comfort which is complemented with amazing driving dynamics. The interior received the same treatment as it has been redesigned to offer exceptional ergonomics, among others. There is no doubt that the new M-Class continues to follow the brand philosophy and is even the best example of its Real Life Safety principle.
This holistic safety concept is the result of looking into what would happen should an actual accident occur. Thus aside from the presence of deformation zones in the front and the rear section, the addition of a high-strength passenger cell ensures a strong basis for the occupant protection systems. Further, the assistance systems fitted inside the M-Class are able to enhance not only the driver-fitness safety but also the active safety systems.
These assistance systems may be familiar especially to those who have tried the E-Class and the S-Class. As mentioned earlier, the new M-Class shows excellent energy efficiency. Indeed, the figures related to fuel consumption and emissions are more than exemplary.
Compared to the previous generation, the new model uses 25% less fuel. No Mercedes-Benz model has ever had fuel consumption lowered by as much, let alone a SUV model. The excellent efficiency of the M-Class is owed to a number of factors, like the coefficient of drag at 0.32 and the ultra-modern engine range. Helping as well is the extensive use of the BlueEFFICIENCY and different development tools like the “energy-transparent vehicle.”
The ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC for instance is efficient by 28% compared to the previous model. Using the NEDC driving cycle, fuel consumption is 6.0 liters per 100 km with CO2 emissions of 158 g/km. With this, the M-Class can travel on a single full tank of fuel as far as 1,500 km.