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BMW is still top of the leader board when it comes to luxury car sales in the U.S., but the competition is hotting up!
So far in 2021, Lexus has sold just 4,808 fewer cars than its German rivals, and could easily move into top spot before year-end.
A strange year for luxury car sales
Due to the microchip shortage, new car Inventory has been in short supply, but demand is still high. Consequently, auto sales patterns have been hard to predict, as buyers are seemingly willing to buy what’s available, rather than shop around for their ideal car.
This is evident when looking at quarterly sales reports for luxury vehicles. In previous years, BMW has almost always been the bestseller, but so far in 2021, it appears to be a three-way race.
Carscoops reports that in the first fiscal quarter, Mercedes-Benz sold the most units, in the second quarter, BMW regained top spot, and in the most recent quarter, Lexus outsold them both.
From July through September, Lexus sold 81,093 vehicles, BMW sold 75,619, and Mercedes was way behind with 55,130 sales. If we look at year-to-date sales, BMW is still in first place, but its lead over Lexus is just 4,808.
If Lexus can maintain its strong performance through the end of the year, it will likely surpass the German carmaker in annual sales.
Lexus rewarded for efficient distribution
While no automaker has been immune to the effects of the semiconductor chip shortage, Lexus’s parent brand Toyota has managed the problem better than most.
Carscoops explains that despite having a lower inventory than BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Audi, Toyota’s efficient distribution system enables it to get cars onto dealer lots very quickly.
It's also worth noting that BMW and Mercedes are actively pursuing a strategy of selling fewer units for higher prices, so don’t be surprised if Lexus permanently overtakes its rivals to become the top-selling luxury car brand in the U.S.