Surge in Alabama-built SUV helps Mercedes beat BMW in November

Surge in Alabama-built SUV helps Mercedes beat BMW in November
Mercedes is gaining grown on BMW in the 2019 luxury sales race. (Bloomberg)

Mercedes-Benz outsold BMW AG for a second consecutive month in November, making the U.S. sales race between the two German luxury rivals the closest it’s been since March.

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand sold 33,721 cars and SUVs in November, surpassing BMW by 2,508 vehicles. A refreshed GLC midsize SUV was the top seller, while demand for its larger sibling, the Alabama-built GLE SUV, rose a whopping 52%. Total U.S. deliveries for the hyphenated nameplate climbed 8.7% last month.

BMW posted a 10.2% gain to 31,213 vehicles, its fourth consecutive monthly increase. Its 3-Series sedan led the way, with sales almost doubling to 6,283. The X3 and X5 crossover SUVs also posted big volume gains, as did the larger three-row X7 SUV.

For the year, BMW’s lead over Mercedes narrowed to just 3,280 vehicles through the end of November.

The luxury leaders weren’t the only ones to grow sales at a healthy clip last month. Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus brand rose 14% to 30,093 vehicles, aided by demand for its RX and NX SUVs and ES entry-level sedan.

The Audi Q5 SUV paced sales at Volkswagen AG’s upscale Audi brand, which saw volumes grow 21% in the month. That spurt to 20,618 vehicles reflects weakness this time last year when Audi’s U.S. operations were hurt by a vehicle shortage.

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