Fight For Top Of Luxury Charts Heats Up As BMW Closes On Mercedes, Lexus

Follow Nelson

Toyota has had a rough year with its many recalls, but despite the troubles, managed to show a quarterly profit and even increase sales slightly in July. But BMW and Mercedes-Benz are pushing to claim the Japanese marque's title for most voluminous luxury manufacturer in the U.S.

Mercedes-Benz's growth of seven percent year-on-year for July is better than Lexus' but falls well short of BMW's 16-percent rise. Both Mercedes and BMW have some distance to close on overall total sales, however, as Lexus has led for the past decade and continues to hold a 5,000-unit lead over Mercedes-Benz and 6,500-unit lead over BMW for the 2010 year-to-date, according to Automotive News.

The overall jump in sales of luxury cars marks a continued trend from the end of last year, which saw Audi, Infiniti, BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus all rise by at least 10 percent year-on-year over December. Figures from 2009 should be taken in context of the overall market downturn, however, which saw most carmakers dip by 15-20 percent for the entire year compared to 2008. That means the double-digit rises we're seeing this year are still coming up somewhat short of 2008 volumes--a sign the market hasn't completely recovered yet.

The brightest spot in the luxury market remains at Audi. Though it sells a bit less than half the total volume of BMW, Lexus, or Mercedes individually, Audi's 27.1 percent increase year-to-date marks a solid growth, behind only limited-volume luxury brands like Land Rover, Maserati, Rolls-Royce.

Porsche likewise posted strong results in July, up 75 percent year-on-year and 22.2 percent year-to-date with a total of 13,687 cars sold.

Losers so far this year include: Bentley, down 46.7 percent in July and 2.4 percent year-to-date; Volvo, down 32.9 percent in July and 10.1  percent for the year; and MINI, off its July 2009 performance by 11.2 percent and 2009 year-to-date by 1.9 percent. Saab, of course, is well off its 2009 sales figures with its near-death experience and transfer to Spyker, posting an 18.1 percent decline in July and a 69.5 percent drop year-to-date.

On the whole, however, the luxury market appears to be outperforming the general car industry, which is up 5.2 percent for July and 14.8 percent for the year.

[Auto News--sub. req., The Wall Street Journal]

Posted in:
Follow Us

Comments (2)
  1. Toyota takes their sales very seriously. Last year when BMW was a threat they pretty much said that they were not giving up the crown & then an aggressive lease plan & "December to Remember" happened & guess who was #1?

  2. Automotive news given a clear report about BMW as it is one of the leading car maker in world car market. Thanks for this great collection. BMW is in heavy content to lead others.

Commenting is closed for old articles.

Take Us With You!


Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you

Research New Cars


© 2015 MotorAuthority. All Rights Reserved. MotorAuthority is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.