US: luxury battle is hotter than ever in May image

BMW and Mercedes-Benz are going head to head this first half of the year, as they expand their model lineups in a bid to secure the top selling position in the world’s largest luxury auto market.

Last month BMW’s tally yielded a new record of 31, 003 autos, managing to breathe in the neck of Mercedes-Benz – the current leader of the market after the first five months of the year. BMW’s sales soared 4.7 percent thanks to 18 percent jumps for the 3 and 4 Series passenger cars and a 34 percent jump for the X5 sport utility model. Also posting a record for the month, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz managed an even faster delivery pace, rising 11 percent year-over-year to 29,583 vehicles. After the May results have been tallied, Mercedes-Benz continues to hold the lead so far this year, albeit the difference has narrowed to just 479 units. The luxury carmakers have been recently expanding their lineups towards the lower end of the spectrum, in a bid to secure a younger audience that would then be turned in repeat customers – Mercedes has the $31,500 CLA and BMW starts the 3 Series at $32,950.

After the first five months, Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz has seen deliveries up 9.4 percent to 136,926 vehicles, while BMW posted an increase of 7.3 percent to 136,447 units. Lexus, the luxury brand of Toyota, actually came in second for the month, with sales of 29,671 cars and SUVs and for the year-to date period its deliveries have jumped faster than at its German rivals – 15 percent to 132,727 autos. Volkswagen AG’s Audi is also ramping up deliveries, up 11 percent in May to 18,428 and jumping 12 percent for the first five months to 75,353.

Via Bloomberg