Demand for Mercedes SUVs outweighs generous incentives from BMW.

Luxury automaker Mercedes continued to outpace it rivals in September, reporting deliveries of 29,500 units.

According to Automotive News, that represents a 1.7 per cent increase on the same period last year. Through the first three quarters of this year, Mercedes has posted a total of 249,204 deliveries.

By contrast, BMW, the best-selling luxury brand in 2014 and 2015, has fallen to the number three spot for the month of September and the year to date. September deliveries fell 4.6 per cent to 25,389, while year to date deliveries total 230,133.

BMW’s downturn comes despite a massive 44 per cent increase in incentive spending, an average $6732 discount being offered. Mercedes, meanwhile, has actually reduced its incentives by 9.3 per cent, offering an average discount of $4342.

According to Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs, Mercedes’ success is being driven by increased demand for its SUVs and crossovers. September’s figures included a doubling in sales of the mid-size GLC.

Krebs said: “Aging millennials are finally forming households and having kids. They’ve been fueling the market for compact and now mid-size SUVs, and we know they aspire to luxury.”

The bigger Mercedes GLE, GLE Coupe and GLS SUVs have also been launched within the last 12 months, alongside the latest E-Class sedan, C-Class Coupe, and S-Class Convertible. The GLC Coupe and C-Class Convertible are due to go on sale by the end of the year, as well.

Perhaps unusually Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler is not overly concerned about maintaining the number one spot in the sales charts, telling AN it “is not as important to us as it may seem.

“No customer is going to buy a Mercedes because we are No. 1 in the market. What is important to us is that we are successful with the customers in the marketplace. I don’t think the consumers care. So we don’t overstress it.”

Toyota’s Lexus brand currently splits Mercedes and BMW in the sales charts, posting deliveries of 25,801 in September and 236,193 for the year to date.

Source: Automotive News

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