BMW Expected to Win the US Auto Luxury Race image

Mercedes-Benz will most surely lose the battle in the US luxury auto market, as BMW plans aggressive incentive strategy.

As Audi left the race after its sales were affected by the natural disasters last year in Japan, the only racers left are Mercedes and BMW, struggling to get the first place in the competitive U.S. luxury market. Although Mercedes had 2,000 vehicles sold ahead BMW through November, he might not be the winner, as its German rival plans an aggressive incentive strategy by the end of this year.

“I don’t think we’re going to win the sales race this year,” Steve Cannon, the head of Mercedes-Benz USA, told reporters during a luncheon in Detroit.

Mercedes is expected to reach record sales in the US of more than 270,000 for the year. Even if the automaker’s refreshed and expanded its portfolio brought the company its highest sales level in the US yet, Cannon said that this was not done especially to reach the no.1 spot. Still, analysts expect both automakers to boost incentives and special financing during the holiday season, but with BMW chosing a more aggressive strategy compared with its rival.

In December, BMW tends to “slather on incentives like butter on toast,” said IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Linland.