Mercedes-Benz may be ahead of BMW in the U.S. luxury sales race, but the Stuttgart-based automaker is falling behind its cross-country rivals in global sales.
Mercedes has delivered 964,900 vehicles so far this year, trailing second place Audi by 132,600 cars and luxury leader BMW by 145,000 units. Just a year ago Mercedes-Benz was behind Audi by 53,900 units.
“Mercedes’s problems are home-made problems,” Christian Ludwig, an analyst with Bankhaus Lampe in Dusseldorf, told Bloomberg. “It’s going to be extremely difficult for Mercedes to reach the No. 1 spot. The others are not sleeping.”
Mercedes's sales growth has been hampered by a poor strategy in China as well as a slow expansion in lower-end segments. At the top end, Mercedes-Benz' aging S-Class is failing to attract buyers that are now shopping the BMW 7-Series and Audi A8.
Earlier this year Mercedes braced investors for lower earnings in 2012.