Mercedes Offers $5,000 Discounts to VIP Customers image

To keep its luxury-auto sales lead Mercedes-Benz is offering $5,000 discounts to ‘VIP customers’ and lets some buyers skip more monthly payments than BMW.

The special lease deals and cash offers are available for 2012 models sold in November and the new program also allows Mercedes-Benz customers ship as many as five payments. Data gathered from January to September shows that Mercedes has a lead of 5,221 vehicles ahead of BMW. As the economic crisis in Europe begins to affect Germany and deliveries in China fell in September the most in the past nine months, Daimler and BMW face increasing pressure in the US market.

“It isn’t just about being No. 1,” said Greg Goodwin, CEO of Vancouver, Washington-based Kuni Automotive, which operates 14 dealerships. “What BMW and Mercedes also are dealing with is global competition and the ebbs and flows of global demand.”

In 2011 BMW surpassed Mercedes and Toyota’s Lexus, which has been the top-selling luxury-auto brand in the States for 11 years, before being Toyota was hit by the natural disasters in Japan. This month BMW is also applying a new promotion, offering owners of 2010 models the possibility to waive as many as three payments to purchase a new or certified used vehicle.

Mercedes’ deal allows owners of all model, excluding the ML450 Hybrid SUV, to skip five payments in order to purchase or lease any 2012 or 2013 model, through Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.