Mercedes Tops BMW in Oct. U.S. Auto Sales

Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz sold more luxury cars than Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) in the U.S. last month, bolstered by a new sporty C-Class model.

Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. deliveries jumped 23 percent to 22,637, while the BMW brand’s sales rose 13 percent to 21,873, according to statements by the carmakers yesterday. BMW, based in Munich, kept the lead for the year with 199,552 vehicles.

BMW increased incentives by 35 percent per vehicle last month, while Mercedes-Benz’s discounts fell by 15 percent and discounts on Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s Lexus models declined 12 percent, according to TrueCar.com, a website that tracks automotive sales.

“There was weakness on the 3 Series for BMW as it’s winding down,” Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at TrueCar.com in Santa Monica, California, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Dealers were pressured to aggressively clear out the end of the model year. Mercedes has newer products so they can create value with less incentives.”

Mercedes-Benz’s October sales were boosted by an 88 percent gain in deliveries of the top-selling C-Class. U.S. dealers sold 192,695 Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the first 10 months of the year.

Lexus sales last month tumbled 14 percent to 18,092, the company said in a statement yesterday. Lexus has been the top- selling luxury auto brand in the U.S. on an annual basis for the past 11 years. Its lead over BMW narrowed to 9,216 last year, less than half the 19,473 gap in 2009. Mercedes finished in third place last year.

Cadillac Slides

General Motors Co. (GM)’s Cadillac sales fell 12 percent to 11,975 in October. The brand’s newest vehicle, the SRX, was up 13 percent to 4,984. The rest of the brand reported slow or declining sales. Deliveries of the CTS sedan, Cadillac’s top seller this year, fell 7.6 percent.

Sales for GM’s luxury brand were down because the DTS and STS sedans are being discontinued, Kurt McNeil, vice president of Cadillac sales, said yesterday on a conference call. He also said that BMW outspent Cadillac by $1,500 a vehicle in sales incentives and Mercedes-Benz spent $800 per vehicle more.

The results exclude Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler’s Sprinter vans and Smart cars, as well as BMW’s Mini brand, which aren’t luxury vehicles.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Clothier in Southfield, Michigan at mclothier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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