Recently released figures have shown that the United States has now replaced Germany as Mercedes’ biggest market globally. Almost 1.3 Mercs were sold in the last year, which is nearly five percent more than in 2011. More than a quarter of a million of those vehicles were sold in the US, some 10,000 more than in the marque’s home country. With difficult economic times on both sides of the Atlantic, what is it that has allowed Mercedes to be so successful in America?
One of the main things that has to have helped is the incredible range that the manufacturer offers. Few other brands offer the same number and variety of options that Mercedes does. There are 12 models offered on the forecourt, all coming in different configurations and trim levels. Indeed, if money was no object, they offer a car to suit pretty much anyone, whatever their requirements. There are also several new models in the pipeline, thought they won’t necessarily be sold in the United States. This announcement may change minds however.
It also seems as though US buyers are starting to appreciate some of the superior characteristics of European, and particularly German, cars. With fuel prices rising around the world, economy is becoming more and more important. As things stand, few US manufacturers can offer the same combination of performance and economy that Mercedes can. American cars are also notorious for having low quality interiors, something which Mercedes excels at.
Sales have actually fallen in Germany too, with car buyers across Europe put off by the recession. For this reason, it’s little surprise that the American market is doing ok; things are slightly better in the US compared to Europe.
Having said that, mainly it’s been the mainstream manufacturers such as Ford that have suffered the most. Luxury marques like Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover in particular have done quite well for themselves. With some of Mercedes’ entry level cars such as the C-Class being well priced, they may well have taken some buyers from other manufacturers.
Fleet buyers have been drawn to Mercedes recently, and private Mercedes car leasing is also popular. This makes driving the executive cars a lot more affordable, especially when it comes to the low tax diesel models.
To conclude, there is no single reason for the current success of Mercedes, but rather a lot of things coming together. With the release of the A-Class, next year is going to be big of the German marque.