Think the only challengers for the title of best-selling luxury brand hail from der Vaterland? Wrong. Lexus outsold the likes of Mercedes-Benz for the second time in 2014 last month. In fact, the Japanese luxury marque's total sales this year are a mere 12,000 units behind BMW.

Lexus was able to move 26,921 vehicles last month, a year-over-year increase of 21.1 percent, respectively. Mercedes, meanwhile, was just barely beaten, moving 26,617 units in April. The difference, though, is that Lexus has made far bigger year-over-year gains than Mercedes, which recorded a YOY increase of just 4.13 percent.

This is particularly troubling for the Germans, as it marks a return to form for Lexus that we haven't seen since before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that decimated Japan. Prior to that natural disaster, Lexus enjoyed nearly a dozen years at the top of the luxury heap.

What's most interesting, though, is that Lexus has made these strides against Mercedes without moving down market. The German brand has seen a great deal of success with its CLA, a vehicle that Lexus has no real challenger for. But with the Japanese brand bringing both the RC coupe and the NX compact crossover, it's a safe bet that, pending any other natural disasters, Lexus will continue the success of early 2014.


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  • 101 Comments
      SquareFour
      • 8 Months Ago
      You know what? Good for them. Lexus offers a pretty solid relative value, all things considered, and I'm sick to death of automotive pretense. BMW hasn't been BMW in quite some time and Benz is, well, Benz. It's doubtful I'll ever be in this market as I value other things over "luxury," but if I was, my choice probably wouldn't be German. The value isn't there. Honestly, if I am ever an old fart looking for a cushy cruiser, I'd probably just get a big Buick or Lincoln or Caddie or Acura...or even an Impala or Avalon.
      Joe Liebig
      • 8 Months Ago
      Since everyone is commenting on 'downmarket': It's not so much downmarket as it is down-with-fuel-consumption. Various countries will require manufacturers average mileage to improve significantly over the next 10 years, so naturally, all manufacturers will have to build smaller cars to 'tune' their average.
      Joe Liebig
      • 8 Months Ago
      Taste, you either have it or you don't. If you buy a Lexus, you belong to the latter group. Anyway, you should look the the average price/car. I'd think that Mercedes is still higher because of the upper tail. You just can't buy a $200k Toyota ... err .. Lexus.
        express2day
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joe Liebig
        Offering those high priced $200K cars is kind of meaningless to the "average" given that they represent such a small portion of total sales. The lower end C-Class and E-Class are Mercedes' top selling models.
          express2day
          • 8 Months Ago
          @express2day
          @Joe Liebig Average price of cars sold. To use a basic example: if a company offered two models, one for $40K and one for $200K the average price of cars offered would be $120K but that can tell a misleading story. If they sold 10,000 cars at $40K and only 5 at $200K, the average price of cars sold is about $40,080 which is a truer reflection of where they are in the market. Simply offering a $200K+ car does not necessarily mean much to the average price of cars actually sold.
          Joe Liebig
          • 8 Months Ago
          @express2day
          What kind of average are you talking about?
        vi_per
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Joe Liebig

        Douchbaggery, you either have it or you don't. Recken a guess which group Joe belongs in? 

      ferps
      • 8 Months Ago
      I wonder what the average selling price is for Lexus vs. Mercedes and BMW. My guess is that Lexus sells a lot of IS, ES and RX models, but not many of the GS, LS, GX and LX. Though the popularity of cars like the CLA may have moved down Mercedes' average selling price down considerably.
        Bruce Lee
        • 8 Months Ago
        @ferps
        The S class isn't a big volume seller either though, Mercedes moves a lot more CLAs and C and E class vehicles than the really crazy expensive cars. Lexus' most popular model is actually the RX350 which isn't that cheap so it would probably be fairly close, the Mercedes Benzes mostly go for a higher price because of the jacked up options pricing.
          jessesrq
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Bruce Lee
          The RX is not cheap, but it sure leases cheap. My sister considered something cheaper when she replaced her last RX, but leasing a new one was cheaper than getting a Highlander.
        sjmoo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @ferps
        Actually, MB hasn't sold very many CLA's because they are severely supply constrained (they have actually sold nearly 1000 more S-Classes this year than CLAs). Furthermore, the CLA's that they have sold have all been higher optioned than MB expected. The CLA's average transaction price is $36,000. For comparison, the CT200h's ATP is closer to $32,000 and the IS250's is $35,000. As a result, Lexus is actually selling a lot more cars that are cheaper than the CLA. MB's top selling model line this year is the E-Class, and its average transaction price is over $50k. What all of this works out to is a VASTLY higher average selling price for MB than Lexus. MB actually has the highest selling price of any mainstream brand at $56,000. Lexus is far behind at $44,000. Plus, this year Lexus has spent more than double on incentives than MB and more than triple what BMW has spent.
          Wagz
          • 8 Months Ago
          @sjmoo
          Dude, Lexus is no where near 2800 in incentives. The IS line doesn't even have rebates yet. Where are you getting info from? 12% average discount? So your saying a 50k RX is selling for 44? Invoice is 47. So the sell them 3 grand back? Your a fool. Complete fool stop making up numbers.
          Wagz
          • 8 Months Ago
          @sjmoo
          Your completely wrong on transaction prices. Average for the ct is 34k and for the IS line is 45. 41 being a pretty cheap IS and 50 being the 350. RX is 49.
      mikoprivat
      • 8 Months Ago
      these wanna be toyota pseudo "luxury" cars don't sell in Europe. Very few Europeans (mostly the brits) are fooled into buying one. Who in their right mind would buy this crap in lieu of a MB or BMW.
        Helix
        • 8 Months Ago
        @mikoprivat
        The Lexus IS is consistently rated as the car with the highest owner satisfaction in the UK.
          kontroll
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Helix
          I think that's exactly what mikoprivat said...only the brits are as stupid as the americans
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 8 Months Ago
      The hideous gaping predator maw and ridiculous disconnected Nike swoosh check mark LED strips have got to go!
        Dmitriy Markelov
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        I hated the redesigned front end myself but apparently its resulting in higher sales. Go figure...
          mikoprivat
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Dmitriy Markelov
          that;'s because americans are toyota buying idiots.Nobody buys lexus except the fools in america. go figure??? I don't think so, it is very straight forward: american retirees are not normal````````
        OnTheRocks
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        I agree. It has a face only a mother from another star system could love.
          SquareFour
          • 8 Months Ago
          @OnTheRocks
          That comment was so dorky I had to down vote it. :)
        Cyrus Brooks
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        I agree the new Lexus IS is so freakin hideous!
        Helix
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        They look incredibly high tech. http://lexusenthusiast.com/images/gallery/gallery-lexus-nx-flow-lexus-brock/image_14.jpg
        StylinRed
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        that new look is doing well for them though that's why its been adopted to their entire lineup, the buying public has spoken I personally love it
      Wagz
      • 8 Months Ago
      I have a 14 350 F Sport my last car was a 11 335i while the turbo six in the Beemer was more powerful, the car seems to always be on the cusp of ******* up. 17k and a fuel pump fails? If luxury means waiting on the side of the road for a tow truck then keep your luxury. IS gets positive comments everywhere I go, autobloggers must be staying at home.
      Bobby
      • 8 Months Ago
      It just continues to show that autoblog commenters cannot accurately predict the market. They say the Lexus cars are too hideous, no one will buy them, however consumers say otherwise: they like the new cars. I'm not saying I like the new Lexus design, I'm just saying people talk like they know what'll sell and won't. While you invade the comment section of Lexus articles with negative feedback, they laugh as more and more of their "predator" cars sell. Baffling.
        gtivw09
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Bobby
        yeah, most of the ppl here cannot even afford a new Camry but talk like they can buy a Lexus any time.
        fran
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Bobby
        Exactly my point. Sometimes I even wonder why aren't these "I-know-it-all" selling cars?
        Barry Hubris
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Bobby
        Great point. People by brand and image, not performance. Lexus has a brand (frankly baffling to me as I remember when they launched so they'll always be a dressed up Toyota to me) that appeals to many people under 50 who actually associate the brand with something upscale. Young kids flock to the IS... so Toyota/Lexus has figured something out.
          StylinRed
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Barry Hubris
          audi is just a vw benz/bmw are the ford/Chrysler of Europe Europeans don't view them as luxury just your regular run o the mill grocery getter Toyotas/exus' are sold wit less features in the US because americans couldn't afford them if they were properly outfitted as they are in asia/eu (and sometimes Canada)
        Vien Huynh
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Bobby
        The IS actually look good in real life...
      adam1keith1980
      • 8 Months Ago
      The internet joke about the predator grill is getting old. The fact is that Lexus makes good quality, reliable, and cheap-to-maintain cars that can compete with the Germans in terms of performance and luxury. I have three Lexuses - all of them are out of warranty and have never been in the shop for unscheduled repair.
      Dmack
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm not surprised that that they are back. Every young chick her and some dudes are only buying the IS 250 sport nobody buys the the standard. Lexus will go back out once the new C-class hits.
        TooManyCars
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Dmack
        "Young chick and dudes buying the IS250"... Because young chicks and dudes can't afford the latest german offerings or the 350 for that matter... and yet still want the luxury label....
      skoobey
      • 8 Months Ago
      I am sorry, but none of these new Lexus models are stylish. They might be new shocking and whatever, but buying one is just like driving a pimped out Supra or something... not elegant.
      ammca66564
      • 8 Months Ago
      Lexus hasn't moved downmarket? What about those hideous little hybrids they make? FWD hybrids: that's WAY downmarket.
        Bruce Lee
        • 8 Months Ago
        @ammca66564
        Yeah but they didn't sell well so most of the new volume isn't from moving downmarket
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