Mercedes-Benz’s record September was enough to top the BMW brand in the U.S. luxury sales race, but BMW held a small lead for the first nine months of the year.
Lexus, meanwhile, is quietly gaining ground on its two headline-grabbing rivals after 12 straight months of sales gains. It joined Mercedes and BMW as the only luxury automakers to top 200,000 sales year-to-date.
The overall luxury market rose 8 percent in September, and it’s up 8 percent for the for the year.
Mercedes’ luxury sales rose 11 percent to 27,315 units -- excluding Sprinter trucks --- across its car and light-truck lineups, 1,729 more than BMW’s 25,586.
The revamped S-class flagship sedan led all Mercedes gainers with sales of 1,909 vehicles, about five times the volume of a year earlier.
The GLK-Class was up 11 percent with 2,646 sales; CLA sales, 2,531, increased 10 percent; and the M-class SUV had 3,460 sales, resulting in a 9 percent gain.
Mercedes-Benz sales are up 8 percent to 233,211 units through September.
“With three record sales quarters under our belt, we’re racing toward another banner year,” said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, in a statement. “
BMW brand sales, which exclude the Mini line, rose 9 percent in September. Its year-to-date sales are up 11 percent to 236,591 units.
BMW’s luxury lead over Mercedes for the year-to-date is 3,380 vehicles.
“After such a strong August, to set a new September sales record for BMW is a great accomplishment and emphasizes the importance of our new models to the company’s sales success,” said Ludwig Willisch, BMW of North America’s CEO, in a statement.
Lexus had a 12 percent gain in September with sales of 21,852 units.
Toyota’s luxury division sold 220,683 vehicles through September, 16 percent better than in the first nine months of 2013. .
Lexus CT hybrid hatchback sales were up 35 percent to 1,078 in September, while GS sedan sales rose 29 percent to 1,592 and the IS sedan climbed 13 percent to 3,611 sales.
“September was a good month for Lexus, with both passenger cars and luxury utility vehicles showing nice gains,” said Steve Hearne, Lexus vice president of sales and dealer development. “Combined Lexus sales were up for the 12th consecutive month and outperformed both the industry and the luxury segment.”
Q3 boosts Audi
The freshly launched Audi Q3 crossover, which accounted for 1,092 sales last month after hitting retailers in August, helped drive the brand to its 45th consecutive month of record U.S. sales. The crossover is on tap for a full redesign in 2017 for the 2018 model year.
Audi delivered 14,917 units in September, a 14 percent jump from the year-earlier period. Audi monthly sales grew even though eight of its 12 models had year-over-year sales declines in September.
Audi has sold 130,983 units this year -- a 15 percent gain and nearly as many vehicles as it sold in all of 2012.
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