The latest sales numbers are in.
For years, Lexus has lagged behind luxury rivals such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz in terms of US sales. Typically, the two German brands face off against each other for the yearly sales crown. BMW managed to beat Mercedes last year but there's no guarantee that'll happen in 2020. In fact, Lexus has a great chance of coming out on top if Q3 sales data is anything to go by.
Lexus managed to sell a total of 75,285 vehicles in the third business quarter while Mercedes sold 69,631 vehicles and 69,570 for BMW. What was the secret to Lexus's success? It's not so much a secret but rather circumstances. Both BMW and Mercedes faced inventory shortages because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lexus has managed to retain sufficient inventory enabling it to better weather the crisis.
The Lexus RX in particular was a very strong seller with a total of 29,438 units sold compared to 28,109 in Q3 2019. In September alone, Lexus as a whole saw a 31 percent increase thanks to the RX, followed by the NX and ES sedan. BMW, meanwhile, is already on the rebound. July and August were difficult months inventory-wise, but September finally saw new vehicles arrive on dealership lots.
Not surprisingly, the BMW X3, a direct RX rival, remained its best-seller with 16,326 examples leaving dealer lots. As for Mercedes, its X3 and RX competitor, the GLC, came in third place with 11,428 units sold.
However, none of this means Lexus is guaranteed to beat BMW and Mercedes for the whole year, but it could be close. As of right now, Lexus is actually in the lead with 182,088 total 2020 new vehicle sales, while BMW is slightly behind at 181,547 and Mercedes at 144,770. A lot can still happen in Q4 especially once those year-end sales events commence in December.
It's been an entire decade since Lexus won the annual luxury sales race and, ironically enough, due to how the coronavirus has affected its arch-rivals, it has every chance of finally repeating that success.