In the battle for the luxury sales crown in the United States, Toyota’s premium division managed to overpass its German rivals in February.
The high demand for its premium sport utility vehicles propelled the Lexus brand on top of the luxury market last month. Even if deliveries for Toyota’s unit only rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier to 23,090 vehicles, its German rivals reported some slow sales numbers for the month. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz saw its sales slip 2.9 percent, while demand for the BMW models dropped 10.7 percent in February for a total of 22,498 compared to 25,201 vehicles sold in February 2015. “As leaders in luxury crossover vehicles, it’s no surprise to us that our SUV lineup continues to propel our sales performance,” said Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager of the Lexus division. “It wasn’t just a good month for SUVs, however—IS, CT and RC have exceeded our sales expectations for the month.” Toyota division reported an 18 percent increase for its four SUV models, while the brand’s car deliveries fell 16 percent. Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus edged into the monthly lead in U.S. luxury-vehicle sales, boosted by American consumers’ love for sport utility vehicles.
“Despite runout of two high-volume models, we are experiencing a strong first quarter,” Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA said “As new core model lines like E-Class and GLS are introduced, we expect to set new records throughout the year.” As for BMW, its SUVs gain 7.1 percent, but the overall sales results were pulled down by 19 percent decline for the brand’s cars.