Mercedes-Benz exec is confident brand will top US luxury sales in 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on October 22, 2013

The chief executive of Mercedes-Benz USA is confident that the premium brand will be able to steal the US luxury sales crown from BMW this year. Following a presentation at an event honoring the 2013 Automotive News 100 Best Dealerships To Work For, Steve Cannon said that Mercedes will have a great year. He added that natural sales and great execution would be key to beating BMW, which took the crown in 2012.

Mercedes was well ahead of BMW before December 2012 by around 1,800 units. BMW, however, managed to outsell Mercedes by over 9,000 units in December 2012, enabling it to capture the luxury crown for the second straight year. The situation this year is almost similar, with Mercedes holding onto a lead of less than 3,000 units through September.

Cannon, however, said that Mercedes would be able to maintain its current lead -- thanks to expected sales of the redesigned S-Class sedan and the new CLA compact sedan – even without offering late-year incentives. 

Cannon remarked that Mercedes will not have a "last-minute sale" to outsell BMW this year. BMW and Mercedes both traded insults after the former topped its rival with its December surge.

Mercedes officials accused BMW of padding sales figures by including units that dealers acquired as loaner vehicles. BMW, however, denied the accusation, saying that it was Mercedes who has done so in the past.

Design chief Gorden Wagener remarked that the sophisticated design of the S-Class has always been considered an expression of luxury as well as automotive splendor – a tradition continued by the new S-Class.

He called the new S-Class as a modern embodiment of sensual clarity, thanks to its classic architecture and flowing silhouette. He quipped that the design of the new S-Class creates a link between the classic elegance of Mercedes’ 1930s cars and its sophisticated, progressive design idiom. He described the new S-Class as a true design icon, as made possible by the marriage between sensual forms and stylish sportiness with effortless superiority and timeless clarity.

The effortless superiority of the new S-Class is properly conveyed by its larger, three-dimensional radiator grille that is now more upright. Furthermore, the new S-Class boasts of classic saloon proportions, starting with its long bonnet, through the domed roof line to the gently slanting rear end. Mercedes has made sure the new S-Class communicates prestige through its size and space, with its dynamic roof line designed to match its sporty coupe styling.

The new S-Class features Mercedes’ signature "dropping line," which is essentially a character line plummeting subtly from the front to rear and helping structure the side wall while making it seem that the vehicle is moving even though it is at a standstill. Meanwhile, the flanks of the new S-Class give rise to a convex-concave effect, which in turn gives the premium vehicle a dynamic and elongated body. On the other hand, the new S-Class features a pronounced shoulder above the rear wheel, helping accentuate its sporty nature.

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