U.S. luxury auto sales race goes down to the wire

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Can BMW repeat the mojo he used in 2012 to win a Mercedes-Benz victory? The two brands almost ran neck and neck in the fourth quarter, with Mercedes looking for the third consecutive time on top of the American luxury market.

Luxury race

Mercedes-Benz has a narrow lead on BMW in its search for a 3rd successive American luxury crown.
Leader of 9 months
Winner over the whole year
Mercedes of 2012 by 5.241
BMW of 7,376
2013 Mercedes of 2.505
Mercedes from 3,248
2014 BMW with 3.380
BMW with 9.347
2015 BMW of 66
BMW from 1.422
2016 Mercedes from 13.011
Mercedes with 9.009
Mercedes from 2017 by 22.075
Mercedes with 31.561
2018 Mercedes from 319
Source: Automotive News Data Center

Nine months up to 2018, Mercedes had sold its rival to just 319 vehicles, with the exception of commercial vans. In the past five years, the brand that ends three-quarters of the year has finally ended first. But six years ago, BMW achieved a victory after having trailed more than 5,200 vehicles in October.

With a redesigned 3-series and a strong line-up of crossovers in a market that is hungry, "BMW really has a legitimate opportunity to jump with Mercedes," said Edmunds analyst Jeremy Acevedo Automotive News. "They are certainly ready to close strong."

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Mercedes has been hampered in recent months by delays in the availability of some 2019 models, but said it expected improved inventory in the fourth quarter.

Three years ago, the luxury competition was even tighter, with BMW having an advantage for 66 vehicles on October 1, 2015. It retained a victory of 1,422 units – not on Mercedes but on Lexus, which made a late attack during its annual "December to Remember" sale.

But as 2012 showed, the race can still remain in the grip of the race until the end of the race. That year, in December more than 1,800 vehicles ahead of BMW in BMW, but BMW drove a 39 percent increase in the victory circle.