Lexus passes Mercedes in monthly sales becoming number two luxury brand in the US
Lexus outsold Mercedes Benz in the US in the month of May. Although all companies are enjoying good sales numbers right now, the Toyota family is doing better than most. Lexus is doing better than pretty much every other major luxury brand. Passing Mercedes means that there is only one more premium automotive brand for Lexus to beat in the US market and that is BMW.
Torque News noticed the sales trend some months back and reported on it last month. We could see that given Lexus’ sales gains and promising prospects for its product mix, it was only a matter of time before Lexus overtook the top two luxury brands in America. This month Lexus sold 26,921 vehicles. That is a solid 16% growth year over year compared to last May. Mercedes also did well and was up about 8%, posting sales of 26,617 vehicles. However, Lexus is growing faster and for this month at least, is now the number two luxury vehicle maker in the US on a monthly sales rate basis.
Overtaking BMW’s sales rate will be more of a challenge for Lexus. The BMW brand sold 29,602 vehicles in May and was up an impressive 17% over last May. For Lexus to pass BMW it will have to rely on new products, not just increased sales of its current line. Currently, Lexus has a high volume compact crossover coming this fall called the NX. Lexus also has a low to medium volume line of sport coupes called the RC 350 and RC F coming about the same time. These two vehicles will compete directly with the BMW 4 series and BMW X3. Presently, BMW has no new high volume cars coming to the US market, but does have a low volume electric car called the i3 just now beginning sales. In May the company sold 336 in the US, and once fully underway will likely sell in the area of just 1,500 per month. Lexus’ new products could add as many as 6,000 new vehicles per month to its tally sheet by the end of the year. Lexus is also starting to plan a 3-row crossover. That new vehicle will come to market no sooner than next year.
Our prediction is that if current sales trends continue Lexus will pass BMW in monthly sales in December 2014. At that point Lexus will be the number one luxury vehicle maker in the US.