Despite reports earlier in the year that Lexus might be overtaken by BMW in the race to sell the most luxury cars in the United States last year, Toyota’s luxury arm surged ahead in the second half of 2009 to maintain its title. With sales of 215,975 units in 2009, Lexus handily beat the 196,502 total by BMW solidifying itself as the luxury sales leader for the 10th straight year in a row.
Solidifying the title were strong sales in December, where Lexus moved 28,565 units, an increase of 22 percent over the same period a year before.
In July BMW had taken the lead from Lexus, but the Japanese luxury automaker’s sales picked up in the second half of the year with the introduction of the 2010 Lexus RX, a vehicle that in many ways has become the new BMW 3 Series and middle-class status symbol.
Placing a close third in the running was Mercedes-Benz with 190,604.
All other brands were distant with Cadillac moving 109,092 units just ahead of Acura with 105,723 units, Lincoln with 82,847 units and Infiniti at 81,089 units.
In total, sales of luxury cars in 2009 were way down with Lexus selling 17 percent fewer units this year and BMW down 21 percent for ’09.