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.