December 2012 Top 30 Best-Selling Luxury Vehicles In America

2013 Audi A4 Allroad red
435 Of The A4s Sold In
December Were Allroads
Barely missing out on America's December 2012 30 best-selling luxury vehicles list was the Infiniti QX56, the one Infiniti with a name that will barely change. QX56 sales rose 29% to 2232 units in December, not enough of a rise to overtake the declining Acura TL.

Lexus, which isn't about to change the name of its best-selling model, has a great deal of equity in the call sign RX. Whatever the combination of R and X means, it's translated to a great deal of success for Japan's most famous luxury automotive export. The RX was the best-selling premium brand vehicle in December 2012, accounting for 41% of the brand's total U.S. sales volume.


Making way for the best-selling RX was BMW's usually unbeatable 3-Series. November and December were the two best 3-Series U.S. sales months this year. The 3er's 27% year-over-year increase in December translated to 2256 extra sales; the 5-Series delivered on an extra 3498 occasions. Together, the 3-Series and 5-Series accounted for 51% of all BMW brand sales in America in December. In 2012, the two core cars were responsible for 56% of BMW USA sales and 45% of BMW Group sales in the U.S.

U.S. luxury auto brand market share chart December 2012
Click Market Share Chart For Larger View
GCBC will be dramatically altering the best-selling luxury post when the January edition appears at the beginning of February. 

But it has become clear that the amount of overlap between premium brands and mainstream brands results in a very subjective post that doesn't accurately reflect where big spenders spray their  automotive dollars. Rather than list an Acura ILX as America's 27th-best-selling luxury vehicle, we'd rather show that 1110 American new car buyers spent at least $92,350 on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.


Once a price limit is chosen, it will seem unfair to the vehicles which are definitely luxurious but too inexpensive. Obviously, a minimum base price of $40,000, or $45,000, or $50,000 cuts out some very high-end vehicles. Yet it's the easiest way of excluding the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and including the Buick Enclave, for example.

Now and for always, you can find the sales figures for any vehicle by selecting a make and/or model from the dropdown menu at GCBC's Sales Stats home. This is how, by current GoodCarBadCar definitions, the 30 best-selling luxury vehicles in America broke down in December 2012.

Rank
Luxury Vehicle
December 2012
%
Change
Year 
To Date
YTD
% Change
#1
Lexus RX
12,534 + 8.9% 95,381 + 15.5%
#2
BMW 3-Series
10,745 + 26.6% 99,602 + 5.5%
#3
BMW 5-Series
8385 + 71.6% 56,798 + 10.3%
#4
Lexus ES
7987 + 63.6% 56,158 + 37.4%
#5
Mercedes-Benz 
C-Class
7757 + 0.2% 81,697 + 17.9%
#6
Mercedes-Benz 
E-Class
6984 + 31.7% 65,171 + 3.9%
#7
Cadillac SRX
6400 - 12.6% 57,485 + 1.0%
#8
BMW X5
5722 - 4.7% 44,445 + 9.6%
#9
Infiniti G
5516 - 15.5% 59,844 + 2.7%
#10
BMW X3
5162 + 46.1% 35,173 + 26.6%
#11
Acura MDX
5069 + 10.5% 50,854 + 17.5%
#12
Mercedes-Benz 
M-Class
4241 - 20.2% 38,101 + 6.3%
#13
Acura RDX
4024 + 155% 29,520 + 94.3%
#14
Audi A4
3806 + 2.3% 38,530 + 9.4%
#15
Audi Q5
3626 + 55.2% 28,671 + 15.1%
#16
Cadillac CTS
3372 - 37.8% 46,979 - 14.6%
#17
Mercedes-Benz 
GL-Class
3111 + 20.7% 26,042 + 3.6%
#18
Mercedes-Benz GLK
3004 + 28.0% 29,364 + 20.8%
#19
Cadillac ATS
2979 ----- 7008 -----
#20
Cadillac XTS
2939 ----- 15,049 -----
#21
BMW X1
2806 ----- 8947 -----
#22
Lexus GS
2796 + 1341% 22,160 + 492%
#23
Infiniti JX35
2708 ----- 21,674 -----
#24
Lincoln MKX
2617 - 2.4% 25,107 + 7.3%
#25
Cadillac Escalade
2554 - 21.9% 22,632 - 11.3%
#26
Lexus IS
2497 - 31.2% 27,708 - 6.6%
#27
Acura ILX
2485 ----- 12,251 -----
#28
Hyundai Genesis
2397- 3.0% 33,973 + 3.0%
#29
Volvo S60
2344 + 20.1% 23,356 + 9.7%
#30
Acura TL
2246 - 31.6% 33,572 + 7.5%
Source: Manufacturers & ANDC
Red font indicates year-over-year declining sales GCBC qualifies all vehicles from Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Acura, Cadillac, Audi, Infiniti, Lincoln, Volvo, Land Rover, Porsche, and Jaguar while also making exceptions for overtly premium cars like the Chevrolet Corvette, Nissan GT-R, Volkswagen Touareg, Hyundai Equus, and (reluctantly) Hyundai Genesis. Buick's lack of anything truly high-end hinders its value-priced vehicles from qualifying as premium despite the image Buick held in a previous era. Yes, this means the B-Class is eligible because of the S-Class; the A3 because of the R8, to an extent. Unfortunately the lack of data separating vehicle trim lines from one another (F-150 XL vs F-150 Platinum, for example) means vehicles like the GMC Yukon Denali and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 aren't included. None of this should lead you to believe the Chrysler 300 and Toyota Avalon and Buick Enclave aren't luxurious, particularly as they're viable competitors for true premium players.

Related From GoodCarBadCar.net
Top 15 Best-Selling Luxury Vehicles In America - December 2013
Top 30 Best-Selling Luxury Vehicles In America - 2012 Year End
Top 15 Best-Selling Luxury Vehicles In America - January 2013
Top 30 Best-Selling Luxury Vehicles In America - November 2012
Top 30 Best-Selling Luxury Vehicles In America - December 2011
U.S. Auto Sales Brand Rankings - December 2012
Top 30 Best-Selling Vehicles In America - December 2012

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