There’s a new No. 1 luxury car in America. In 2016, Mercedes-Benz (DAI) out-sold all other luxury car brands to become the top-selling brand in that category.
Changing market sentiment is the cause of Mercedes-Benz’s victory, according to Business Insider. Previously, luxury car brands, also called Tier 1 brands, made up the bulk of their sales from coupes and sedans. However, recent auto sale trends in America show growth primarily in the crossover and SUV markets. (See also: AutoNation Numbers Confirm U.S. Auto Sales Slump.)
Business Insider reports that only five of the 31 non-crossover/SUV luxury vehicles available in America experienced sales growth in 2016. Three of the vehicles were made by Audi AG (NSU) and two were made by Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW).
On the flip side, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus (TM) offer popular crossover and SUV models, says Business Insider. Mercedes-Benz’s GLC SUV sales increased by 71.6 percent in 2016 and Lexus’s SUV sales increased by 12.5 percent.
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Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and BMW all suffered from a decline in overall sales in 2016. According to Business Insider, BMW’s overall sales were down 9.5 percent for the year, thanks to a decline of more than 20 percent in the sales of each of its 3-series, 4-series and 5-series vehicles. (See also: 5 Luxury Cars with Low Resale Value.)
Of the Tier 1 brand sales, Mercedes-Benz finished in first place with 340,237 vehicles sold in 2016. Lexus remained in second place with 331,228 vehicles sold and BMW fell from first place in 2015 to third place in 2016 with only 313,174 vehicle sales.
The only Tier 1 brand to experience sales growth in 2016 was Audi, which sold 210,213 vehicles for a firm fourth place finish.