November sales: Mercedes leads US luxury game image

Mercedes-Benz widened its U.S. luxury-vehicle lead over BMW in November as sales of the new entry-level CLA four door coupe contributed to almost all of the Daimler AG unit’s gain.

Mercedes sold 3,623 CLAs in the $29,900 car’s second full month of availability, according to a statement yesterday from the Stuttgart, Germany-based Company. The total increase was 4,061, or 13 % from a year earlier, to a November record 34,376 vehicles. BMW sold 699 of its entry-level coupe, the 1 Series, which starts at $31,500.

“People were skeptical as to how luxury consumers would receive a sub-$30,000 Mercedes,” said Alec Gutierrez, an auto analyst at Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California. “They did a phenomenal job of making it look like an upmarket, upscale small car without it looking like a smaller version of their bigger cars.”

The November results extend Mercedes’s lead over BMW for the year to 7,610 vehicles, from 4,986 through October. The Daimler unit is seeking to end BMW’s two-year reign in annual U.S. luxury sales.

BMW reported November sales of 31,752, a 1.7 % increase from a year earlier. The Munich-based automaker posted gains of 22 % of its 3 Series and 4 Series cars and 13 % for its X1 compact sport-utility vehicle.

Lexus, the top-selling luxury-auto brand in the U.S. for 11 years through 2010, posted a 13 % increase in November, helped by a 99 % gain for the entry-level IS sedan. Deliveries rose to 25,611 for the month and have climbed 12 % to 239,090 for the year.

Cadillac reported an 11 % sales increase to 16,172, on demand for the new ATS and XTS sedans. Cadillac sales for the year have advanced 25 % to 164,378, Detroit-based GM said in a statement.

Audi rose 13 % to 13,636, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based Company said in a statement. Audi, which has posted record sales for 35 months in a row, reported increases of 31 % for the Q5 SUV and 32 % for the A6 sedan. Sales for the year are up 13 % to 141,048.

Honda’s Acura sales rose 19 % to 14,559 last month, including gains of 81 % for the revamped MDX SUV and 21 % for the smaller RDX SUV, according to the Tokyo-based company’s statement. Acura’s total for the year has increased 6.8 % to 149,685, as a 21 % rise for SUVs overcame an 8.6 % decline for cars.

Nissan said its Infiniti division’s November sales gained 11 % to 13,152. Infiniti has sold 103,223 vehicles this year, down 3.8 %, according to a statement from the Yokohama, Japan-based automaker.

Lincoln advanced 17 % to 6,727 last month, as the redesigned MKZ sedan led the gains, as sales more than doubled to 2,854. The model’s California deliveries to individual customers more than tripled, the company said.

Land Rover monthly sales climbed 25 % to 4,601, while Jaguar’s more than doubled to 1,446, according to a company statement.

Via Bloomberg