Mercedes-Benz bets on SUVs to keep its spot the luxury car sales race in U.S

Article by Christian A., on July 3, 2012

Mercedes-Benz wants to return to the top spot in the luxury car sales segment in the U.S. by introducing new and updated sport-utility vehicles. Mercedes-Benz’s deliveries in the U.S. expanded by 18% this year until May, to achieve 106,364 luxury vehicles. This places Mercedes ahead of BMW AG, which outperformed Toyota’s Lexus (the No. 1 luxury brand for the past decade).

Mercedes was No. 1 before Lexus came along in 2000. Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with researcher IHS Automotive, said that Mercedes is relying on its redesigned and refreshed sedans and trucks to get back to the top. Already, Mercedes has gotten gains from the release last year of a new M-Class SUV, a new C-Class Coupe and a refreshed C-Class sedan.

U.S. showrooms will receive an updated GLK compact SUV this August while a new GL-Class large SUV will follow in September. The U.S. market is a fiercely contested market as BMW, Mercedes and Audi raise their game to be top-selling luxury brand in the world. Around the world from January through May, Mercedes is at third place with 531,382 vehicles. Audi sold 600,200 units to earn it the No. 2 rank. Meanwhile, BMW is on top with 607,207 deliveries.

BMW said that its luxury sales in the U.S. increased by 14% through May to 104,779 units. According to Ludwig Willisch, head of BMW's U.S. operations, the brand is expected to stay at No. 1 this year as it will present redesigned 3 Series this February. In the third quarter of this year, it will present an all-wheel-drive version of the 3 Series and the new X1 small SUV in the U.S. They’re all anticipated to increase BMW sales in the second half of 2012.

At first glance, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class can be noticed as a usual part of the Mercedes-Benz SUV roster. The new take of the first gen is indeed spectacular with its defined active power and athletic appeal. The design at the front is predominantly characterized by the GL's traditionally stiff radiator grille with its signature star in the center and the clear high-quality design of the headlights - a new Mercedes-Benz LED feature.

Basically, the standard Intelligent Light System headlights on the GL 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY provide a top-quality, posh and modern ambiance. The difference can be seen in a light wave conductor for the lights, LED technology prompts and the functional Night View Assist PLUS which clients can choose to have installed or not.

The daytime running lights, also in LED, are incorporated into a bumper gripped in chrome and found below the radiator grille is the huge panel with a chrome look that syncs perfectly with the front.

The extremely balanced dimensions of the side (length 5120 mm, height 1850 mm) and the lengthy wheelbase (3075 mm) stress the car's on-road presence, but also, the small exterior overhang at the back and front including the car's superb ground clearance. These all solidify its claim that it offers excellent off-road driving.

The back with its twin LED rear lights use light wave conductor technology, a huge roof spoiler, the bumper that has an innovative "wing design", and the huge area on the body panel wrapped in chrome. These elements fit its social status, befitting of its elegant SUV body. It is only now that there is a wide AMG exterior sport package offered for those GL clients who are in need of a car with a strong athletic and active vibe.

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Topics: mercedes-benz, suv, sales

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