Mercedes takes early U.S. luxury lead after outselling BMW
DETROIT -- Mercedes-Benz sales surged 11 percent in January, getting an early jump on its effort to top BMW in U.S. luxury auto sales for the year.
Mercedes said it delivered 22,501 vehicles last month, its best January, helped by sales of the C-Class sedan, which rose 11 percent to 7,214.
Brand sales for BMW increased 0.7 percent to 16,513 vehicles, boosted by a 56 percent gain for its X5 sport-utility vehicle. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus rose 32 percent to 16,211, led by the ES sedan, which more than doubled to 5,186 deliveries.
The two German automakers are vying to be the top luxury- auto brand in the U.S. after outselling Lexus the past two years. BMW vaulted to its second consecutive U.S. luxury crown with a December surge. Mercedes had the lead after November. Lexus was the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S. for 11 years until natural disasters in Asia curtailed production in 2011.
"We've set another record this January and are breaking into 2013 at a strong sales pace," Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, said in a statement.
The sales results don't include Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, which aren't luxury vehicles.Contact Automotive News