For 10 straight years, Lexus has been the top-selling U.S. luxury car brand, ahead of Mercedes-Benz and BMW. However, Lexus leads by a narrower margin in 2010.
For the first 11 months of the year, Lexus leads with sales of 201,769 – only 4,936 units ahead of BMW and 5,393 ahead of Mercedes, excluding Mercedes' Sprinter vans.
In December 2010, all three brands are making dealer cash a bigger part of their incentive mix. That's aside from the customer cash, low-interest financing on each model and huge lease-subsidy deals like a Mercedes C300 for $339 a month for 36 months.
Mercedes and BMW dealers get $10,000 or more cash on larger 2010 models, while Lexus is giving dealers up to $4,000 on the 2010 LS 600h L and LS 460.
Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends for TrueCar.com, says there's heavy usage of dealer cash in December 2010, but the financing and leasing deals that have run all year are “also moving the metal.”
In a bold move, BMW is also paying dealers $250 more for each unit, retroactively, if they achieve their fourth-quarter sales quota. Ted Datri, general manager of BMW of Dallas, has a quota of 473 units, amounting to about $120,000, a figure that Datri considers to be “quite a bit of money.” [via autonews - sub. required]