Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand surpassed archrival BMW in the U.S. by more than 5,000 vehicle sales last month, closing the gap to 1,600 cars to the lead in U.S. deliveries of luxury automobiles so far in 2011.
The revised C-Class and the redesigned M-Class SUV were the main growth providers for Mercedes-Benz, with brand sales rising 47 percent to 26,796 in November, the second straight month in which the Stuttgart-based automaker edged its Munich-based rival in the United States. BMW sales rose 7 percent in November to 21,521.
November sales results narrowed BMW’s lead for the year to 1,582 units over Mercedes-Benz. So far in 2011, BMW sales have increased 12 percent to 221,073 vehicles, while Mercedes-Benz rose 12 percent to 219,491. The two German automakers are on track to dethrone Toyota’s Lexus, the luxury sales leader in the U.S. for the past 11 years.
The March earthquake and tsunami in Japan affected Lexus’ production, with the brand’s year-to-date sales down 14 percent to 173,197. Lexus’ sales in the U.S. in November rose 6.7 percent to 19,458 units. GM’s Cadillac luxury brand sales fell 5.6 percent last month to 11,145 units, while VW’s Audi recorded a 3.6 percent rise to 9,700 vehicles. Honda’s Acura brand sales fell 7.5 percent to 9,909 units in November, with Nissan’s Infiniti rising 3 percent to 8,428 vehicles.