Lexus Eyes Top Spot, SUV Discounts Rise 60%
U.S. consumers are getting better deals on luxury cars and sport-utility vehicles this year as the top brands clear out old models and race to be No. 1 in sales.
Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s Lexus has led the rise in customer incentives. Lexus boosted discounts on its cars by 54 percent this year and its SUVs by 60 percent, according to researcher Autodata Corp. Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz increased incentives 11 percent and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) by 6.9 percent, compared with a 2.2 percent gain in industry-wide promotions.
“You have these three brands that are all very close to one another and that’s going to put incredible pressure on pricing,” Tom Libby, lead North American analyst for R.L. Polk & Co., said in a phone interview. “That’s going to cause incentive wars. ”
Lexus was the top-selling luxury-auto brand in the U.S. for 11 years, until BMW took the crown last year. Mercedes leads BMW by fewer than 2,000 vehicles through May and Lexus by more than 18,000. All have increased deliveries faster than the total U.S. light-vehicle market’s 13 percent gain.
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