Mercedes Doubles U.S. Luxury-Auto Lead Over BMW on New CLA Coupe

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz sold 4,895 of its $29,900 CLA coupe in the car’s first full month of availability, helping the brand post a 25 percent October gain and double its U.S. luxury-vehicle lead.

Total sales for Mercedes rose to 30,069 vehicles, as E-Class deliveries climbed 23 percent from a year earlier, Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler said in a statement yesterday. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW brand reported selling 27,574 vehicles, a 4.2 percent increase.

The CLA, the lowest-priced Mercedes in the U.S., helped the brand widen its year-to-date lead over BMW to 4,986 vehicles, from 2,491 through September. The tally stands at 245,125 to 240,139 as Mercedes seeks to end BMW’s two-year reign in annual sales. Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said in July he expected his company to come up short again in 2013.

“We’re a bit surprised at how successful the CLA has been right out of the gate, but it’s had a positive reception from a lot of consumers, the price is very, very attractive and it’s a great-looking car,” said Alec Gutierrez, an auto analyst at Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California.

BMW’s October gains were aided by its 5 Series sedans, with a 19 percent increase, and the X1 compact sport-utility vehicle, with a 60 percent jump, according to a statement yesterday from the Munich-based automaker.

The figures don’t include Daimler’s cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, which aren’t luxury vehicles.

BMW’s status as annual leader for 2012 was based on reported sales. By vehicle registrations, Mercedes topped BMW last year, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co. Through this June, owners had registered 141,724 new BMW vehicles in the U.S., compared with 134,326 from Mercedes, according to Polk.

Lexus, Cadillac

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus, the top-selling luxury-auto brand in the U.S. for 11 years through 2010, posted a 14 percent increase in October. Deliveries rose to 22,719 for the month and have gained 12 percent to 213,479 for the year, the Toyota City, Japan-based company said in a statement.

General Motors Co.’s Cadillac reported a 9.5 percent sales increase to 14,792, on demand for the new ATS and XTS sedans. Cadillac sales for the year have climbed 27 percent to 148,206, Detroit-based GM said in a statement.

U.S. sales of Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand rose 11 percent to 13,001, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said in a statement. Audi, which has posted record sales for 34 months in a row, reported a 39 percent rise for the Q5 SUV and an 11 percent increase for the A4 sedan. Sales for the year through October are up 13 percent to 127,412.

Porsche, Acura

Porsche, the Stuttgart-based automaker that’s now part of Volkswagen, said yesterday its sales climbed 11 percent to 3,562 for the month and have risen 24 percent to 35,111 this year.

Honda Motor Co.’s Acura sales rose 18 percent to 14,296 last month, according to the Tokyo-based company’s statement. Sales climbed 25 percent for the new RDX SUV and 31 percent for the new ILX small car. Acura’s year-to-date total has increased 5.6 percent to 135,126.

Nissan Motor Co. said its Infiniti division’s October sales gained 4.5 percent to 9,152. Infiniti sold 90,071 vehicles this year through last month, a 5.5 percent decline, according to a statement from the Yokohama, Japan-based automaker.

Sales of Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln brand advanced 38 percent to 7,131 in October, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker said in a statement. The gains were led by an 80 percent surge for the redesigned MKZ sedan.

Land Rover monthly sales soared 37 percent to 4,286, while Jaguar’s more than doubled to 1,515, according to an e-mailed statement. The U.K.-based brands are owned by Mumbai-based Tata Motors Ltd.

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