November 29, 2010
Mercedes-Benz concept car
For the last ten years the top-selling luxury car in the United States has been the Lexus. But according to recent statistics compiled by Autodata Corporation, from January through until September this year, Mercedes-Benz sold almost 1,000 more vehicles more than Lexus.
Although according to Autodata, the race to be the United State’s highest selling super car this year is far from in the bag, as Lexus is rapidly gaining on the German automobile manufacturers, and with two months to go before the end of the year, Lexus could well catch up and even take over, knocking Mercedes-Benz of off the top spot.
BMW on the other hand, being some 7,000 vehicles behind the leaders and in third place, is well out of the race to be crowned US luxury car champion 2010. According to Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of sales and dealer development, the real winners will be the consumers.
“Anytime there is a close race it stimulates the whole market. You can expect to see a buyer’s market for the next 60 days,” said Smith.
Plying consumers with incentives in the run up to Christmas is always a shrewd marketing tactic and one that luxury car manufacturing giants are more than aware of. In the month of October, Mercedes-Benz spent $3,900 on every car on consumer incentives, whilst Lexus spent an average of $3,300 on enticements to try a lure the luxury car consumer into purchasing a Lexus.
Elated about Mercedes lead in the race and seemingly unworried by Lexus swift gain, Steve Cannon, vice president for marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA said:
“The bigger story for us is that we have closed a 75,000-vehicle gap with Lexus and a 40,000 gap with BMW since 2007.”
Emily Stevens from Ohio is wisely biding her time before purchasing a new luxury super car.
“Lexus and Mercedes are definitely going to want to finish in pole position in the luxury sales stakes 2010 and consequently the almost $4,000 consumer incentive will most probably be nearer $5,000 or even $6,000. I am waiting to see what else they can offer us before I make my purchase.”
Wise words indeed, but as Lexus admitted, it is a buyer’s market.