US: January’s sales show Mercedes taking the luxury lead image

The US premium segment, the world’s largest, has had the German automakers exchange blows in recent years, with BMW leader in 2012, Mercedes-Benz topping the chart in 2013 and again BMW coming up on top last year.

Now, the third largest global luxury carmaker, Mercedes-Benz, has positively started the year, with January sales enough to post a record for the month and take an early lead. There’s also a surprise contender though – Lexus – coming up second as it mulls to regain the top spot held for a decade after 2000. BMW, the 2014 champion, found itself relegated to the third spot. Mercedes new car registrations soared 8.9 percent to 24,619 units, with the GL class jumping 38 percent and the flagship S-Class another 22 percent. “On the heels of record sales in 2014, a best-ever January is the perfect way to kick off the New Year,” said Stephen Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.

On the other hand, Lexus is lurking in the shadows after a 31 percent, the biggest year-over-year increase among luxury brands – with GS sedans surging 29 percent, the GX SUV climbing 25 percent and the new Lexus NX, the first compact model in the SUV range, adding 2,812 units to the tally.

BMW cam third with sales up 4 percent to 18,981 units on the back of increased demand for the 3 and 4 Series. Audi managed to set its 49th straight monthly US sales record last month with sales of 11,541 autos, a 14.3 percent year-over-year increase.

Via Automotive News