Mercedes blames crossover deficit for the November slip on US luxury segment image

The gap between Mercedes-Benz and its premium rival has widened last month and US brand chief Steve Cannon says the shortage of cars in the hot compact crossover segment is to blame.

Mercedes-Benz reported an unexpected fell in November’s sales and BMW took advantage of this situation to extend its lead in the battle for the luxury segment. BMW had a slight lead over its main rival through October, with only 555 extra cars sold in the US, while Lexus was ranked third with 5,584 units behind the boss of the luxury segment. But November sales reports showed Mercedes lost some ground, with a 13 percent downfall and thus the gap widened to 2,513 vehicles. The slip was because of a shortage of vehicles in the highly demanded compact crossover segment, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA Steve Cannon said.

The redesigned and renamed GLC went on sale November 25, later than expected. The vehicle it replaced, the GLK, had “pretty much sold through,” he said, leaving “the gap we fell into in the month of November.” Dealers also have complained about not having enough supplies for the GLE, which went on sale in August, replacing the M-class midsize crossover. Cannon agrees that model’s inventory is “tight” due to a high demand and also promise that the production availability will be strong next year.

But the fight for the luxury segment lead will not determine Mercedes-Benz to shift from its incentives planned strategy for December. “Our competitors are out there very aggressive,” said Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. “Look, we’re going to have another record year — we’re not going to go crazy to try to buy a sales crown. If somebody wants to push harder, let them go for it.”

Via Automotive News