GERMANY vs JAPAN – luxury


In March of 2007, the trio of Japanese luxury marques – Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti – reached total US auto sales of 59,718.  That is more than the German luxury trio – BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz – which sold 54,957 vehicles last March.

In the 31 days of March just concluded, the Japanese triumvirate produced numbers of 52,048. Yes, that’s down significantly. But don’t blame Infiniti. (And don’t forget about the two extra selling days in 03/07.) On the other hand, Germany’s aged brands formed a total of 51,910. 
If you’re curious, which you are or else you wouldn’t be reading this, Lexus and BMW are their team leaders. Both brands have sales in the mid-20,000s.  Infiniti and Acura are in the mid-teens, with Mercedes around 5K ahead. Audi brings up the rear, but makes gains every month.  Audi and Infiniti sales were up over 7% when you take into account the number of selling days, comparing March/08 with March/07.
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What does all this mean? I don’t know. It is interesting, however, to see that Acura is facing tumbling sales month-over-month month-after-month-after month, but still sold about 5,301 more vehicles than Audi did in March.This is Audi, the company that tells us it will be the biggest worldwide luxury automotive seller sometime early next decade. It’s also interesting that amidst the economic turmoil, money is somehow making itself available for 100,000+ sales from luxury brands. That’s just these luxury brands. We’ve not touched on Saab, Volvo, Cadillac, Porsche, Jaguar or the ultra-luxury Bentley/Rolls-Royce/Ferrari field.  
Lexus sold twice as many cars as Buick did last month. So did Kia. Audi doubles Mini. Mercedes sells about 2 cars every time Mitsubishi sells one and after beating Saturn by a few hundred in March of 2007, Benz beat them by 2,662 vehicles this March. 
Still, Chevrolet; Ford, and Toyota all sell more cars than these six prominent luxury badges combined.