Despite plans to be the most profitable luxury car brand by 2020, Mercedes-Benz is falling further into third place behind the likes of BMW and Audi.
Mercedes sold 964,900 vehicles in the first nine months of 2012, trailing Audi by 132,600 units and BMW by 145,000. Over the last seven years, Mercedes has seen a sales increase of 19 percent, while BMW jumped up 31 percent and Audi has enjoyed a 70 percent surge, according to IHS Automotive.
To try and fight the trend, Mercedes is rolling out a new S-Class flagship soon, and introducing new lower-cost compact models, like the upcoming CLA and the new A-Class.
In the Chinese market, Mercedes is also lagging behind both Audi and BMW, both of which saw sales increases of more than 30 percent this year, compared to Mercedes’ 6.5 percent.
“Globally, the relatively old product range weighs on sales,” said Frank Schwope, an analyst at Norddeutsche Landesbank in Hanover. “The current revamp of the A-Class and soon of the S-Class will have a positive effect.”