Luxury brands have been attracting consumers away from mainstream brands. The luxury segment is expected to grow 7-8% this year, doing better than the 5% increase predicted for total auto sales, according to Larry Dominique, president of ALG Inc., which establishes auto resale values.
A 13% increase in April 2015 was noted in deliveries for Daimler AG’s Mercedes with 29,188 units shipped – setting a record for the highest in April. BMW also set record-breaking sales of 26,952 units (a 6% increase).
Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Motor, posted a 12% gain with 25,876 units sold – 50 more and it would have exceeded its best-ever sales for the month.
For the year to date, Mercedes-Benz took the lead from BMW in April with a sales volume of 1,900 units. Lexus ranks third with 4,288 units sold through April. From the start of the year until March, BMW outpaced Mercedes by only 336 vehicles and led Lexus by 1,312 units. However, Lexus has the momentum. Its deliveries have increased by 17% this year.
In comparison, BMW went up 8.1% while Mercedes grew 8.9%. BMW was at the top of luxury sales in 2014. Dominique thinks that a lot of the growth originates from the move of luxury automakers to offer more affordable models to reel in the younger generation of consumers.
He explained that even with the growth in luxury sales, the average prices are on a decline since less pricey models have been added to lineups and automakers have been offering discount leases.
As an example, Dominique said that a person can get a Mercedes CLA for the same price as a Honda Accord. He said that there are people who can deny themselves “a few of the bells and whistles” and get a lower-priced model just to have that luxury name in front of the car.
Mercedes’ entry-level models that largely contributed to its gains are the C-class and CLA sedans as well as the new GLA small SUV. For the year through April, sales have gone up 9% to 107,344 units. The BMW brand recorded a 5.9% increase for the 3 and 4 Series and an 8.1% growth for the 5 series.
BMW deliveries for the year have increased by 8.1% to 105,444 units. According to Toyota, Lexus’ sales for the first four months of the year have been its best in 26 years, with a 17% increase to 103,056.
Lexus predicted that luxury brands in the U.S. went up 9% in April, a faster rate than that of mainstream brands. Bloomberg said that the industry had an average monthly gain of 5.9%, according to 12 estimates. These results do not include Daimler’s Sprinter vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, which are not considered luxury vehicles.