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Mercedes admits it could lose luxury sales lead in U.S. despite record sales

 Mercedes admits it could lose luxury sales lead in U.S. despite record sales
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift

Big incentives offered this month

Mercedes-Benz expects to be dethroned by BMW in U.S. luxury market, despite posting record sales this year.

Throughout the entire year it was a pretty close race between the two German brands, with Mercedes-Benz keeping a fragile lead at the end of November with about 2,000 more cars delivered.

An executive at M-B said yesterday the luxury brand could fall to second place, even though this year they had record sales of more than 270,000 units. Steve Cannon added that German executives are not pressuring the U.S. division to remain in first place.

Both companies are expected to use important incentives and special financing offers during the holiday season to increase sales. Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland said that BMW, in particular, "pulls some very large numbers" at the end of the year. IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Linland declared that BMW has the tendency to "slather on incentives like butter on toast."

Source: autonews.com

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Comments (23)

 BOOGIE_WOOGIE BOOGIE_WOOGIE
Alot of posts on here are very short sighted and not well thought out at all. Heritage and all that goes right out the window when you have Behemoths like BMW, VW Group, Toyota and the up and coming Koreans challenging Mercedes on their staple of C, E and S class vehicles and literally stealing money in the lower rung market of Golf, 1 series and the like. Its common knowledge that the compact hatch segment is a literal goldmine these days. Golfs and 1 series type vehicles are selling by the boatloads. The new A-Class has seen record numbers of pre-orders, that alone should tell you the story of the "current" market. Too many people live in the past. BMW has had to forego tradition and adopt turbocharged engines, FWD configurations and the like, not to piss off customers but to stay relevant with the bigger companies, grow and keep their independence. Yet you still have people whining about BMW's FWD adoption even though the 3,5 and 7 series will be untouched in RWD form. Its like the more options people have, the more they complain. If Mercedes Benz does not react to the current market changes they will risk losing their independence. Simple as that. Mercedes Benz would do well to develop according to the needs of the current market. Smaller, fuel effecient premium cars is where the market is at. The profits generated from these smaller vehicles would go a long way to further improving the C, E and S Class vehicles. Its a win win for both loyalists and newcomers to the brand. The lower entry level models would go a long way to improving Mercedes Benz as most people look at them as an "old mans" car. I spoke to my friend the other day about MB making more youthful and sporty vehicles and he agreed but added that it would take alot more than a new A-Class to shake off that stigma. So the whiners can keep whining about heritage. I'd love to see the whiners when Mercedes Benz goes under.
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December 15, 2012 6:43 am
 Sylvester Sylvester
By the way...the new E looks very nice is this color. Very nice!!
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December 14, 2012 9:38 pm
 Sylvester Sylvester
The bottom line here is these brands still make exceptional automobiles. Yes their design language and engineering has changed but they have changed I believe for the better. We live is a different time with different technologies and different needs. These brands change based off us the consumer, they rise and fall based off what their studies tell them we want and need. These changes in automobile philosophy are a reflect of us and our time. The challange for the brands is getting it right by creating exceptionally engineered distinctive automobiles that are timeless and that work in our everyday lives. Some brands get it right more often than others. It does not mean they get it right based off the standards created during a different time from different technology and different people.
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December 14, 2012 9:35 pm
 Sacto8780 Sacto8780
I think what is NOT helping Mercedes-Benz in the USA is the fact BMW has taken away a LOT of M-B sales with the success of the 3 Series and 5 Series models fitted with the 240 bhp N20B20 turbocharged engine. As such, M-B needs a smaller, powerful engine for their lower-end model lines; this means the 2.1-liter 190 bhp turbodiesel now coming on the refreshed E-Class should be installed in the C-Class, too.
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December 14, 2012 8:29 pm
 Porsche3054 Porsche3054
You really cannot compare these two brands just by car vs. car sales. The majority of cars BMW sells in the US are the lower "cheaper" models,where as Mercedes does not have as many of these more affordable models. When you look at the higher end of this market you will see that Mercedes sells more cars. However, this is a much smaller market so BMW gets the advantage in total sales. There is a general consensus here in the US that Mercedes is a more "expensive" and luxurious brand than BMW which is seen as more sporty. Mercedes is not going to try to out sell BMW if it means losing this general consensus. I fear however this is the way Mec. is headed and could cause serious problems for the brand.
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December 14, 2012 5:19 pm
 SouthAfrica SouthAfrica
We cant say Mercedes has to stay true to its tradition of quality rather than quantity. The world is changing and you have to stay relevant. Surely they did that and stayed true to their religion and it has and it is not working. They price their products higher than everyone(their margind) but yet dont make as much profit as even BMW on every car (read financial statememnts), my point is Merc doesnt want to still be seen as prospective Lexus,dull and that,we gotta put comments than are progressive and relevant rather than stick to traditions that may lead to bankrupcies and job losses. Change!!!
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December 14, 2012 1:03 pm
 Ivo_205 Ivo_205
Yeah I'm sure if Mercedes had the choice they would go for selling less vehicles and stay true to their "heritage of exclusivity". Come on guys, they are a car company, they want to sell cars. It is how they make money.
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December 14, 2012 10:36 am
 whitecar whitecar
Relative to Audi and BMW, Merc is definitely behind in terms of design and engine development. The motor industry is very competitive and if they don't do something, this trend will continue.
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December 14, 2012 9:50 am
 hunker7 hunker7
That is what you have budget brands for; quantity. Premium brands on the other hand should be about quality.
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December 14, 2012 9:07 am
 Roken Roken
So tired of these "sales race" so called news stories at the end of each quarter... I'll take reposted spy photos any day.
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December 14, 2012 9:05 am
 autoficianado autoficianado
Frequently selling the most vehicles has not equaled making the best vehicles. I would rather Mercedes remain true to their heritage of building the vehicles to a standard and charging appropriately. Who leads in sales is less important than quality, engineering, technology and exclusivity which have been the hallmarks of the brand for 100+ years.
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December 14, 2012 9:02 am
 tazcubed tazcubed
Yeah, but even if Mercedes doesn't win the production numbers crown, perhaps they'll be more focused on making their cars better as opposed to just making more cars.
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December 14, 2012 8:46 am