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Lexus tops BMW, Mercedes-Benz in 2010 U.S. premium sales

 Lexus tops BMW, Mercedes-Benz in 2010 U.S. premium sales
Lexus LF-A Convertible at Detroit

Lexus sold almost 230,000 units in 2010 but the Japanese premium marque's lead over its German rivals is slipping

Lexus has once again topped its German competitors to become the best-selling premium brand in the United States market for 2010.

The Toyota Motor Corp. luxury marque sold 229,329 units in the U.S. in 2010. BMW came in second with 220,113 unit sales for the year. Mercedes-Benz was the third-place premium brand with 216,448 vehicles sold last year.

Lexus has been the leader in premium sales in the United States for over a decade. But it's grip on the title is slipping.

The Japanese brand's lead over BMW shrunk in 2010 to just 9,216 units, compared to 19,473 in 2009. Mercedes-Benz also saw its sales rise by 14 percent in 2010, compared to Lexus' 6.2 percent jump.

"They [Lexus] certainly got impacted negatively by the lingering recall news for Toyota, and we've also seen BMW and Benz being more aggressive when it came to incentive spending and marketing," said U.S. auto sales analyst Jesse Toprak of TrueCar.com.

VW Group's premium brand Audi also saw a large increase in sales of 23 percent for 2010 in the U.S. and selling more than 100,000 units for the first time. But those numbers still leave it way behind its arch-rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Source: Bloomberg

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Comments (29)

rsrtampa
I made the mistake of buying a Lexus. Im now back to a BMW and an Audi. Yes the Lek had solid reliability but it put me to sleep! I will never buy another one, there is just no substitute for German handling.
Mar 30, 2011 3:12 pm
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GTurbo
Pride goes beyond destruction! Yes Mercedes Benz are celebrating their 125th Anniversary this year as world's first auto car manufacturer, but Lexus are only celebrating their 20th. However, credit should go to Toyota for at least offering global customers a prestige alternative at a fraction of the price! It is an achievement that they could 'outsell' MB and BMW in America. It's Hyundai (and possibly Kia) that you guys should be worried about!!
Jan 11, 2011 11:47 am
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joelynn
a lot of people view cars like white-goods, household tools, rather than with passion- hence the fact that the worlds dullest looking car- the mark 2 focus- was always top of the charts in the UK. Lexus do their job fine, like a nice, reliable toaster
Jan 9, 2011 9:08 pm
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Thunderkiss
Lexus make great cars. The build quality and engineering is first rate. Unlike the Germans, when you own a Lexus, there is far less bullcrap involved. Also, considering that BMW, Mercedes and Audi ranges are way larger than Lexus', the fact they outsell the Germans says it all.
Jan 9, 2011 3:50 am
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abramo
@alexm2002 : "equivalent" not "equivelant" (Lexus lovers, good grief . . . .)
Jan 8, 2011 8:33 pm
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rsrtampa
LOL. I support this comment.
Mar 30, 2011 3:14 pm
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alexm2002
everytime i read something about lexus in this website, i find the same people expressing their hatred. why? ok most of them are not very exciting(and an e-class or a x6 is, right?) but they have legendary reliability, they are a little bit cheaper than their german competitors, more subtle, extremely well equiped,safe,and sometimes faster(for example our 2007 gs450h is much faster than the equivalent e60,e-class or a6).if you want something really exciting buy a secondhand 911 or an m3 for the weekend.But if you want something to waft along on the motorway without making a lot of fuss about it, then a lexus is the real deal
Jan 8, 2011 5:49 pm
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wjaprep
"You see them, the problem is they blend in with the Camrys and Hondas so well that you miss them" I must agree. and 6SPEEDV8 how can he be wrong? You would have to be ignorant to look at a Lexus ES and Toyota Camry and NOT know theyre the same car.
Jan 7, 2011 8:05 pm
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6SPEEDV8
My family has a 2007 ES 350 and it is very far from a rebadged Camry. The features you get are astounding for the price you pay. In what new midsize German sedan four years ago could you have gotten Smartkey access, navigation w/ backup camera, ventilated seats, 270+HP engine, premium sound system, HID headlamps and bulletproof reliability all for under $47K. That's was than the base price of the contemporary Merc E 350 in which most of the above mentioned features were optional. Yeah the FWD Lexus was boring as bat shit to drive but when you're not a hardcore enthusiast (like 97% of the population) and you are looking for comfort, features, reliability and best 'bang for the buck' Lexus is hard to beat. I simply prefer something more interesting which is the reason that I will 95% of the time pick a German car over its Japanese competitor. So what if Lexuses aren't built for the hardcore enthusiasts. Why does everyone need to find a problem with the brand just because it sold more cars than BMW and Merc. And who says Toyota isn't capable of building a proper luxury car.
Jan 8, 2011 3:32 am
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wjaprep
Starting off, don't get me wrong. Lexus are nice cars, my has a 2007 ES350, and I must say, they ride very well, and are nice. Thats being said, "smart key" was first done by Mercedes-Benz in the w220 S class as "keyless go" which I do not care for but, Eh. Everything you just named our Mercedes C300 has except for the review camera, for less than $47k. To top everything off, when I press the brakes in My Mercedes, it stops.
Jan 8, 2011 8:28 pm
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abramo
@6SPEEDV8 : You are not a snob, that's your problem.
Jan 8, 2011 8:28 pm
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kdl
Why are people so threatened by this? So, not everyone is an enthusiast. So, some people might not care how fast it is or how much heritage is behind the car. If that is your cup of tea (as it is mine), so be it. If you want something that is relatively less expensive, cheaper to maintain, and reliable - why not Lexus? Yes, I have owned Audis and BMWs, and yes, I love them. But your ownership of a Lexus does not threaten me. To each his (or her) own.
Jan 7, 2011 5:14 pm
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AlikMalix
I just think it's wrong to put Lexus in the same pot with BMW and M-B. Germans do the research, the innovation, and money into design, Lexus slaps some chrome and call it a luxury, it's a rip off.
Jan 8, 2011 1:52 am
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N20_Purge
People just haven't understood the fact that Japanese cars are just as capable as anything else. Not to mention they are very reliable.
Jan 7, 2011 1:42 pm
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rsrtampa
My Lexus was capable of putting me to sleep so yes they are capable of something. Japan can no longer claim the reliability belongs only to them. In some cases they're reliability is much worse.
Jan 7, 2011 3:25 pm
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9TNine
In the UK car makers like FORD used to (maybe they still do) pre-register cars before the year end to boost their "sales" figures...! [they weren't really sales mind, merely manipulation of the sales figures] You wouldn't think the almighty toyota would do something like that, would you? Heaven forbid!
Jan 7, 2011 11:39 am
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rsrtampa
Americans are stupid when it comes to cars. Just look at the top ten best sellers here. The Camry and that God awful Corolla always make the list. Why, I will never know.
Jan 7, 2011 11:25 am
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6SPEEDV8
what's wrong with wanting a cheap reliable car for the non-enthusiast.
Jan 7, 2011 1:10 pm
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CDspeed
People think they're getting a deal because Lexuses cost less then a Mercedes or BMW, most are unaware they're driving re-bodied Toyotas. In the US we are also about to have the baby boomer generation retire and everyone knows you have to be at least 60 to even want a Lexus, so the number of Luxury Toyotas will continue to rise but I doubt they'll stay in the lead forever. There is one thing I find funny about Lexus, most luxury brands love to tell you where there from, they're proud to be either English, German, Italian, or even American but not Lexus. The reason for there lack of identity, is because they don't have one.
Jan 7, 2011 11:12 am
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stickshifter
thats odd. here in germany lexuses are very rare because germans think, this brand has no heritage, no history and no perstige like merc or bmw. if you spend 50k and more on a car you demand more than just a big vehicle, regardless how well engineered it may be...
Jan 7, 2011 10:56 am
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AlikMalix
Could not have said it better regarding "no history and no prestige". .... well said.
Jan 8, 2011 1:47 am
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BeEmWe
Toyota has attracted those who want luxury-like vehicles, but still not spend too much! A fully-speced Merc, BMW or even Audi is significantly more expensive than a comparable Lexus. Besides, Lexus buyers almost always think about their car's residual value for resale. You might not believe it but most people buying Lexuses in here (UAE) never remove the nylon seat covers in their cars!! Really sad!
Jan 7, 2011 6:09 am
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M!
i see more BMW's and MB's than Lexus for sure. which models are they talking about? the entire range?
Jan 7, 2011 5:15 am
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rsrtampa
You see them, the problem is they blend in with the Camrys and Hondas so well that you miss them.
Jan 7, 2011 11:22 am
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6SPEEDV8
No both of you are too ignorant.
Jan 7, 2011 1:08 pm
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rsrtampa
@ 6SPEEDV8: Maybe you should change your screen name to CHEAP&RELIABLEV4. Also, calling someone ignorant for having an opinion on a blog site is, well, ignorant. Lexus are boring and dont come close to the Germans, I know because I had an '06 IS350 and it was the worse car mistake I ever made.
Jan 7, 2011 2:31 pm
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AlikMalix
We're talking Luxury Marques, not Overdressed Camrys. The Toyota brands are eye sores among real luxury brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. Statistics like this confirm that there are more people in the U.S. without taste or passion to buy a real deal (P.S. I live in the U.S.) Easily fooled buyers think they own luxury. Sad, really sad. That's ok. It'll be nice to have BMW or M-B to be an exclusive brand again, like the 80's decades before.
Jan 7, 2011 1:47 am
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wjaprep
uhm... they are NOT just overdressed Camrys, theyre also over dressed Land Crusiers and other cars too...
Jan 7, 2011 8:03 pm
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wjaprep
I... I just don't get it...
Jan 6, 2011 10:13 pm
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