After a decade at the top of the U.S. luxury vehicle sales charts, Lexus may soon be unseated by the previous leader, Mercedes-Benz, as well as BMW. While Lexus sales have been recovering this year from the dismal first half of 2009, Mercedes-Benz has been climbing even faster.
One possible reason for this disparity is the string of recalls Lexus has been hit with this year, including accelerator pedals, floor mats, leaking gas tanks and defective valve-springs. Another reason is the sales strength of Mercedes' updated bread-and-butter vehicles, including the new E-Class.
In June, Lexus sales were up just 2.7 percent compared to 25 percent and 15 percent for Mercedes and BMW respectively. Unless Lexus cleans up its act quickly and manages to convince customers that its quality problems are behind it, Toyota's premium brand could fall behind both German brands.