Mercedes-Benz padded its lead over BMW in the race for the best-selling luxury brand in the U.S. by posting a 5.8-percent sales growth in April 2013 to 23,635 units. While the BMW brand posted a 10-percent hike in US sales to 23,225 units, it was not enough to cut its rival’s lead. Mercedes’ superior sales figures instead extended its lead over BMW to 4,695 vehicles, as of the end of April 2013.
Mercedes posted an 11-percent year-on-year gain in sales in the first four months of 2013 to 92,822, according to parent Daimler. BMW, meanwhile, posted a 6.7-percent rise in sales in the January-April period to 88,127 units. More expensive models logged dramatic growth during the period.
For instance, the BMW 7 series that starts at $73,600 and the Audi A8 that starts at $72,200 surged 69% and 30% respectively. The Mercedes SL-class that starts at $105,000 more than tripled to 938 deliveries in April. Alec Gutierrez, an auto analyst for Kelley Blue Book, remarked that while these are small numbers, these are still sizeable gains for some of the “most expensive vehicles in the market, excluding the exotics.”
Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand posted a 3.1-percent hike in deliveries for April 2013 to 18,091, as its ES sedan and the RX sports utility vehicle jumped 71% and 3.1% respectively. Lexus has sold 74,831 vehicles through April for a 12% gain. General Motors’ Cadillac brand, meanwhile, posted a 34-percent gain in deliveries to 13,230 vehicles in April, bringing its year-to-date sales to 55,942 units for a 37-percent growth.
Mercedes is trying to topple BMW from the US luxury sales crown, which the latter has been holding for two straight years. BMW was able to defend its crown by posting a heavy sales surge in December 2012. Lexus was the annual sales leader for 11 years until natural disasters in Asia limited production in 2011.