The largest premium auto market in the world, the United States, has become a German battlefield recently, after the Japanese automaker Lexus ceded leadership to Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
After in 2013 the Daimler AG unit – the third largest luxury carmaker in the world – gained the sales crown, for much of the year BMW has recaptured the leadership position. Last month though, Mercedes managed to secure the top spot in a last minute attempt to narrow the lead ahead of the December sales spree. Buoyed by increased demand for the recently redesigned C-Class, Mercedes sold 34,578 units, up just 0.65 from the same month of 2013. The all-new generation of the C-Class saw deliveries jumping 18% to 9,259 units. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, its main rival, reported deliveries of 31,019 vehicles in November – a 2.3% slide on SUV sales that fell 14%.
After the first 11 months of the year have passed, BMW continues to hold the leadership position – with a total of 298,212 units to Mercedes-Benz’s 296,382 – a difference of just 1,830 autos. Once the undisputed leader of the luxury segment, Lexus had sales of 27,472 vehicles last month, an increase of 7.3%. Meanwhile, the second-largest premium automaker in the world – Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit – announced sales jumped 22% to a total of 16,640 units. Overall sales now stand at 162,773, up 15%.