Mercedes Beats BMW and Gets U.S. Luxury Sales Crown for the First Time since 1999

The year that just ended proved to the best-ever for Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. as it propelled the brand on top of the luxury segment, ahead of archrival BMW. It’s the first time Mercedes-Benz finished on top since 1999, ending Lexus’ and BMW’s domination.

Mercedes-Benz reported 312,528 sales, up 14 percent from 2012. In December, brand sales rose 17 percent to 33,007. The Stuttgart-based carmaker ended the year 3,248 units ahead of BMW, which sold 309,280 units in the U.S. in 2013, up 10 percent over 2012. In December, BMW surpassed Mercedes-Benz selling 37,389 units helped by incentives. Lexus was No. 3 in 2013, up 12 percent to 273,847 vehicles.

According to Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, the sales performance is due to fresh products. In the fall of 2013, the carmaker launched the CLA compact sedan and the redesigned S-Class flagship sedan, with the facelifted E-Class range launched earlier in the year. Sales were also boosted by improved customer service, Cannon said.

“The volume is a validation of what we are doing in the marketplace and what we are doing with our dealers and our focus on customer experience,” Cannon was quoted as saying by Automotive News.

The CLA did very well, with Mercedes-Benz selling 14,113 units in 2013, an important contribution to Mercedes’ win over BMW. Furthermore, the S-Class and E-Class outsold the competing 7-Series and 5-Series. The CLA helped bring people into the showrooms and even aided C-Class sales, as buyers coming for the CLA often changed their minds and bought a C-Class instead, according to Cannon.

By Dan Mihalascu

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