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Mercedes-Benz pulls well ahead of BMW in US luxury car sales

[STUTTGART] Daimler is coping with the coronavirus pandemic's disruption to the US luxury-car market better than its German rival, registering half the magnitude of sales decline BMW sustained in the first half of the year.

Sales at Daimler's luxury brand fell 14 per cent in the first six months compared with BMW's 28 per cent plunge. After posting much better second-quarter numbers on Wednesday, Mercedes leads BMW by almost 18,000 vehicles.

Mercedes is benefiting from a refreshed lineup, with the automaker having given a face lift to its top-selling GLE and GLC crossovers in the past year. Sales of the three-row GLS SUV also jumped 36 per cent in the second quarter. Virus-related lockdowns in key luxury markets including New York, New Jersey and California were still a challenge for all premium brands.

BMW, which won the US luxury sales crown last year for the first time since 2015, said sales of its big three-row SUV, the X7, slumped 38 per cent in the second quarter, while deliveries of its mid-size X3 crossover fell 45 per cent.

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