US: luxury sales race could see Mercedes and BMW at the photo finish image

The US luxury market, the largest in the world, has seen Mercedes-Benz and BMW entrenched in a battle royal for the ages, trading blows and the top positions.

Since 2011, when Japanese auto brand Lexus ceded the title, the German brands have been fighting an all out war – each claiming that they held the title at the end of the year after discarding the sales figures coming from the rival.

One thing is for sure though, according to IHS Automotive analyst Tom Libby, after the October new car sales results came out for the US market, “BMW now leads its archrival Mercedes-Benz by just 5,389 sales through the first ten months of this year.” That sets up the field for extensive use of marketing tools, including numerous incentive deals, through the last two months of the year.

Mercedes-Benz said its tally for October (the automaker’s best month of the year) was 28,593 units and year-to-date deliveries have reached a record, with the figures being the marquee’s best in history: 261,804 autos, rising 6.8% from the first ten months of last year.

However, while BMW gave up the sales crown last year to its competitor, the largest premium carmaker in the world managed to pull a comeback in 2014. October sales jumped 11% to 30,602 autos and after ten months have passed the brand has grown 12% to 267,193 vehicles.