Lexus USA’s 2008 YTD Sales vs. BMW, Mercedes & Audi

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With the year-to-year decrease in Lexus US auto sales becoming more and more pronounced, I thought it might be a good idea to do some number comparisons as a way to get some perspective.

First thing, here’s the raw facts of Lexus’ first-half sales when compared to the competition:

Manufacturer YTD 2008 YTD 2007 % Change
Lexus 136,711 160,202 -14.1%
BMW 131,513 144,579 – 9.0%
Mercedes 119,279 118,240 0.9%
Audi 45,023 45,711 -1.5%

Even with the 14.1% drop in sales, Lexus is still managing to stay ahead of BMW. Admittedly, Lexus’ percentage change is the highest of the group, but it’s not entirely unexpected.

Right from the start, it was clear that Lexus USA wasn’t expecting 2008 to be a banner year. General manager Mark Templin even went as far to say “If I sell 1,000 more cars this year, I’d be happy.” This would indicate that there was a scheduled holding pattern in effect, due to the current economic climate in the United States.

It’s unfortunate, then, that the latest updates to the Lexus lineup are the most expensive. The LS 600hL, the LX 570, and the IS-F are all big-budget vehicles, and aren’t the type to boost the unit numbers. Contrast this to BMW’s introduction of the 1-Series, and the dropping gap between the two companies makes complete sense.

One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a real competition to see who ends up on top this year.