Lexus Outselling Mercedes in the U.S.
March 2011's earthquake and tsunami shook up the Japanese automotive industry as a whole and Lexus in particular. Now, the luxury vehicle manufacturer is doing some shaking up of its own.
In May, Lexus outsold Mercedes-Benz for the second time in five months. It also closed the gap between itself and luxury-sales leader BMW to roughly 12,000 models. "The gap may close further with the Toyota City, Japan-based automaker scheduled to introduce the NX, the Lexus brand's first compact crossover, and the RC sports coupe to its lineup later this year."
The two German companies knocked the Toyota luxury vehicle division off the top spot after Mother Nature disrupted its production more than three years ago, breaking an 11-year streak of Lexus being the top seller in the premium market in the United States. This year, it's gaining back the ground it lost without making an entry-level model in the sub-$30,000 price range as Mercedes has done with the CLA.
If you look at retail sales, which exclude vehicle purchases by businesses, the big L was the number one luxury automobile brand in the country for the first quarter of this year, according to Tom Libby, an analyst for IHS Automotive.
"Lexus sold 65,475 cars and SUVs to individual customers in the period, compared with 63,483 for Mercedes and BMW's 63,353, according to IHS's data."