Mercedes-Benz stays on top of US luxury car sales in the first nine months of 2017

Article by Christian A., on October 8, 2017

With three more months to go before the year ends, three premium auto companies are jousting their way up to see which of them could claim the crown as the best-selling luxury carmaker in the United States for 2017 – Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.

Mercedes-Benz managed to hold on to the US No. 1 spot after nine months of sales. From January to September, Mercedes delivered 242,250 luxury vehicles, excluding its vans and smart-branded models. This figure represents a 2.8-percent year-on-year drop in sales compared to the first nine months of 2016, when Mercedes delivered 249,204 premium units in the US.

Mercedes-Benz continued to lead the US luxury race even after posting dismal sales in September 2017. The carmaker suffered a sales decline in the month – by 1.7 percent – making it the only luxury brand that didn’t registered a surge in September 2017. Figure-wise, Mercedes delivered 29,008 units in September 2017 in the US, compared to 29,500 luxury vehicles sold in the same month in 2016.

Meanwhile, BMW was able to cut the lead of Mercedes after nine months to 22,075 units, after posting a 0.7-percent increase in deliveries in the month. BMW delivered 25,571 luxury units in September 2017, compared to 25,389 vehicles in the same month last year – representing a surge of just 182 units.

For the year to date (January to September 2017), BMW delivered 220,175 luxury vehicles in the US. This is around 4.3 percent lower than the number of units BMW sold in the country in the first nine months of 2016, pegged at 230,133 units.

BMW is being seriously threatened at the US second spot by the Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus. The gap separating BMW and Lexus – after nine months of sales – is only 516 units, which is narrow enough to be surpassed with three months remaining in the year. For the year to date, Lexus delivered 219,659 vehicles, which is, interestingly, seven percent lower than it sold in the first nine months of 2016. For the month of September 2017, on the other hand, the Japanese luxury carmaker delivered 26,196 vehicles, representing a 1.5-percent year-on-year hike in deliveries. Lexus sold 25,801 units in September 2016. If Lexus could continue this momentum, perhaps BMW would be unseated at the end of the year.

The hike in deliveries in September in all luxury brands – except for Mercedes – came after US sales of luxury vehicles were weakened in August by Hurricane Harvey as well as by inventory shortages hurt August sales. In fact, overall luxury sales in the US in September grew 4.9 percent to 174,504 vehicles, with Genesis, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche and Volvo posting double-digit percentage growth. However, this is below the overall light-vehicle sales in the US in September, which soared 6.3 percent.

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