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Mercedes glides into lead in luxury car market

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Fri, 21/09/2012 - 04:01
Ted Marzilli

Fall luxury car marketing season has got the green flag and Mercedes Benz is in the lead: over the past 45 days, the Daimler AG brand has pulled ahead of its luxury car competitors in perception among affluent US consumers who will make an auto purchase in the next 12 months.

BMW, sitting in fourth place at the beginning of August, accelerated its affluent car buyer perception to second place on September 10th, passing Infiniti, which has been leveling off since that time.

Lexus made the biggest surge of the top 5 luxury brands from August 1st through September 7th, moving from the five spot to number four, but then like Infiniti, lost momentum and trailed back.

Only Audi didn’t benefit from any kind of boost, dropping from a perception tie with rival Mercedes Benz on August 1st to the number five spot on September 17th, behind Lexus.

Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes Benz were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Impression score, which asks "Do you have a general positive ( or negative) feeling about the brand?" All results are for U.S. adults 18+ with an annual salary of $120,000 or more, and plan to make their next auto purchase within the next 12 months.

On August 1st, Mercedes Benz and Audi lead luxury cars with identical 39 impression scores with affluent consumers. From there, Mercedes climbed to a peak of 49 on September 7th before settling into its current leading score of 45.

Audi, on the other hand, went into reverse gear, bumping down to 33 on August 7th, and remaining in the mid-thirties through September 18th. BMW, neck and neck with Infiniti on August 1st with a 34 impression score and behind three other brands, passed Infiniti on September 10th with a 43 score and has remained there, putting it right behind leader Mercedes Benz.

Infiniti and Lexus showed identical trends of increasing impression score for five weeks and then around September 10th, began fading, while Mercedes Benz and BMW continue their momentum. For example, Infiniti shot from 35 to 43, and then rolled back to its present 39. Lexus, behind the other four brands with a 28 impression score on August 1st, climbed 12 points to 40 on September 4th, where it held for a few days, then back to its current 35, just ahead of Audi.

Luxury Cars: Impression Scores
Luxury Cars: Impression Scores
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