Mercedes-Benz outsold Audi last month to become the world’s second-largest luxury car brand as a new line of compacts lured customers to the Daimler unit.
Mercedes delivered 133,440 cars and sport-utility vehicles in November, an 11 % jump from a year earlier. That beat the 132,050 cars sold by Volkswagen AG’s Audi.
November marked the fifth month in a row that sales gains by Mercedes outpaced increases at BMW and Audi. A 54 % surge in demand for compact models, including the four-door CLA coupe and A-Class hatchback, propelled growth at the unit of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler. In addition to introducing the CLA in April, Mercedes revamped the S-Class flagship sedan and upgraded the upscale E-Class sedan in 2013.
“The current model cycle is very beneficial for Mercedes,” said Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Commerzbank AG. “Audi and BMW have to invest in new production capacities and the development of new models. Mercedes’s investment cycle has peaked and they are entering a phase of out performance.”
For the first 11 months of 2013, Mercedes remained in third place, with sales rising 11 % to 1.32 million vehicles, while Audi’s deliveries advanced 7.4 % to 1.44 million autos. Sales of Audi’s A3 compact surged 41 % in November after the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer added a sedan version to the hatchback and wagon models. Both Audi and Mercedes have vowed to surpass BMW in sales by the end of the decade.