M-B: We'll keep Lexus conquests
DETROIT -- Steve Cannon, the new CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, doesn't expect Lexus to recover its U.S. luxury crown in 2012. And he expects to hold on to Lexus buyers who moved to Mercedes.
Mercedes' conquest rate of Lexus buyers is at an all-time high, Cannon said at the auto show last week.
"For every one customer that leaves and migrates to Lexus, four migrate from Lexus and come to us."
He conceded that both Mercedes and BMW benefited from vehicle shortages that plagued Lexus last year as a result of the Japanese earthquake. But he said Mercedes will hang on to its Lexus conquests.
Cannon said he expects Mercedes-Benz USA sales to grow about 10 percent this year, which would top the brand's 2007 peak of 253,277 units. Mercedes-Benz sold 245,192 vehicles last year, making it the No. 2 luxury brand behind BMW. No 3 Lexus had won the U.S. luxury title for the previous 11 years.
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