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LUXURY: Mercedes recaptures crown after 2-year hiatus

Mercedes finished the year with a 16.8 percent share of the U.S. luxury market. It last won the U.S. luxury title in 2013. Photo credit: DAVID PHILLIPS

Mercedes took the 2016 U.S. luxury title even though its sales for the year declined, but the results were still strong enough to beat Lexus and last year’s winner, BMW.

The Daimler AG unit said its U.S. sales fell 0.8 percent to 340,237 in 2016, with December sales dropping 6.4 percent to 32,011 vehicles. Mercedes finished the year with a 16.8 percent share of the U.S. luxury market. It last won the luxury title in 2013.

Toyota’s Lexus brand said 2016 U.S. sales slipped 3.9 percent to 331,228 vehicles. Lexus, behind year-end discounts, topped the segment in December even with sales dropping 0.5 percent to 41,182 vehicles. The brand finished the year with a 16.4 percent share of luxury sales.

BMW’s namesake brand finished a distant third in 2016 with sales slipping 9.5 percent to 313,174 vehicles. Sales fell 5.2 percent in December to 32,835. It finished the year with a 15.5 percent market share. BMW won the U.S. luxury sales crown in 2014 and 2015.

Audi’s 2016 U.S. sales improved 4 percent to 210,213 vehicles -- good for fourth place.

Cadillac, Acura, Infiniti and Lincoln rounded out the next four spots in luxury sales.

Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury brand, which was launched in the U.S. in August, finished the year with sales of 6,948 vehicles -- a 0.3 percent share of the market.

Jaguar had the biggest annual gain -- 116 percent -- of all luxury brands last year, with U.S. volume rising to 31,243 behind the launch of the brand’s first crossover, the F-Pace.

Note: Mercedes results do not include Sprinter or Metris sales. BMW results do not include the Mini brand.

You can reach Philip Nussel at

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