As the German carmakers develop their line-ups to lure in younger customers, Mercedes-Benz, once a brand for the aging man, led the fight, starting out the year as leader.
The German brand, owned by Daimler, also managed to take the crown from BMW for the whole of 2013, but globally still trails BMW and Audi. Mercedes delivered 22,604 vehicles to customers last month, 103 more than a year earlier, thanks to the entry-level CLA four door coupe. BMW managed to gain 11 %, but ultimately only delivered 18,253 vehicles.
As at the US level sales of entry-level cars and SUVs represent 67 % of the premium market and feature a growing trend, Mercedes and BMW bulked up to catch the wave: the first will have a full yea r with the CLA and it adds a facelifted C-Class and the new GLA small crossover, while the second will add to its line-up the $33,025 2-Series coupe.
“That’s where the growth is going to come from,” Kevin Tynan, a Bloomberg Industries analyst in Skillman, New Jersey, said in an interview. “As they get more significant penetration to the entry car and SUV market, volumes will go up.”
Lexus took third spot in the January top with, an 8.8 % increase to 17,637 vehicles, followed by GM’s Cadillac who actually saw a 13 % sales decline to 11,386. Honda’s Acura sales gained pace by 14%, which took deliveries to the 10,823 tally. Audi, the second best seller globally in the premium segment comes next with a 0.4 % rise to 10,101 units. Infiniti sales gained a healthy 26 % to 8,998 in January, while Lincoln’s numbers were up 43% to 5,973. Porsche sold 7.8 % more to reach 3,096 vehicles, Land Rover climbed to 4,674 and Jaguar rose 31 % to 1,347 units.