Mercedes-Benz posted a 7-percent year-on-year increase in car sales in the United States in September 2012 to 23,156 vehicles. Mercedes’ strong performance in September allowed the carmaker to widen its nine-month lead over nearest rival BMW brand to 5,221 units in the quest to grab the crown as the best-selling luxury car brand in the US.
Mercedes’ feat in the US is partly attributed to the updated versions of its C-class compact sedan and GLK compact sport-utility vehicle. Its fellow German carmaker and rival BMW, on the other hand, just logged a 0.1-percent year-on-year increase in car sales in the US to 21,761 units. Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, managed to record a 36-percent jump in US sales to 20,386 vehicles.
According to Mercedes, it posted a 13-percent year-on-year increase in sales in the US for the first nine months of 2012 to 191,618 units. BMW, meanwhile, recorded a 4.9 percent hike to 186,397 for the same period. Mercedes’ sales figures, however, do not include the results for Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, since they are not luxury vehicles.
According to Jesse Toprak, an industry analyst with TrueCar.com, Mercedes managed to widen its lead over BMW owing to the combination of the success of its new products and continued aggressive leasing special offerings. Mercedes and BMW are currently neck-to-neck in the race to become the No. 1 luxury auto brand in terms of sales in the US.
BMW was the top-selling luxury car brand in the US in 2011, overtaking Lexus that is badly hit by inventory problems caused by natural disasters in Asia. Lexus had been the best-selling luxury brand in the US for 11 years to 2010. Mercedes’ chief U.S. operations, Steve Cannon, is optimistic of the carmaker’s chances to “have a nice finish” for 2012.
The GLK features an enhanced poise with its upgraded and redesigned exterior. Its mainframe is built with the standard components of all-terrain cars and integrates it with the signature design of new Mercedes-Benz models. Defined lines, wide surfaces and smooth finish emphasize the volume of the rear and front aspects of the GLK which are also common among competitive all-terrain vehicles.
Included in the GLK’s design are the upright anterior end, lowered overhangs, a sharp windscreen, slim roof pillars, and the rigid roof line. While the design of the car’s build is not stylistic and unique in itself, it does incorporate the best and ideal features of a compact SUV. Its impressive ATV features, which include the ground clearance and approach and departure angle, allow for spontaneous off-road adventures. Its body’s neat design and expansive visibility along with the comfort of its seating position also make it suitable for relaxed driving and daily use.
Underneath the upgraded headlights, all car models provide day-use driving lights with LED technology inside a chrome clasp. The radiator grille is designed similarly to the existing cars with a central star and two slats. The slats are in silver color with optional chrome inserts. The headlamps give a fresh presentation of the iconic and Mercedes Benz lamp design.
A chrome torch element also covers the mirrors; a feature of the standard model with headlamps that are of the reflection type. Models with the ILS (Intelligent Light System), on the other hand, are equipped with the bi-xenon headlamp which forms the projection unit. It also comes with a position light that is composed of a reflector and an LED torch, while turn signal indicators are also made with LEDs.
The roof rails are a truly attractive characteristic of the middle view, offering a fully different focus of the revamped design. The refined gallery bar settles on black plastic provisions and gives more elegance and prestige to its silhouette. The redesigned rails also weigh significantly less than their forerunners – a beloved accidental outcome of the new design. It was essentially great for driving dynamics since the decrease in the car’s roof weight has a considerably greater effect than comparable weight reductions in other parts of the car, including the underbody.