Tesla captures U.S. luxury crown

Mercedes-Benz made a late rally to overtake Lexus for a podium finish in 2023.

The German automaker delivered 286,764 luxury vehicles in 2022, an increase of 3.9 percent. It was one of just four major luxury brands, along with Tesla, Cadillac and Genesis, to post sales gains last year.

Mercedes’ fourth-quarter deliveries surged 21 percent, fueled by the launch of three EQ all-electric models at the end of 2022.

The brand also focused on driving sales of high-end models, such as the S-Class and AMG, which accounted for 29 percent of deliveries.

“That was very positive on the profitability levels, for us and for our dealers,” Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dimitris Psillakis told Automotive News.

Tight new-vehicle supplies squeezed Lexus last year. The Japanese brand delivered 258,704 vehicles last year, a 15 percent slide from 2021, enough for No. 4.

At times midyear, Lexus’ vehicle supply on dealer lots was measured in hours, not days, according to monthly inventory reports.

“On average, there is probably about a three-month wait” for new Lexus vehicles, depending on model, brand boss Dejuan Ross said, noting wait times can range from two months to “over 18 months” for the LX.

Swedish automaker Volvo’s U.S. sales slid 16 percent last year to 102,038. Volvo cited supply chain challenges and production slowdowns caused by component shortages and COVID-related lockdowns in China.

Volvo’s EV sales surged last year as the automaker seeks to go all-electric by 2023. In 2022, the brand’s Recharge models — vehicles with fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrains — accounted for 27.4 percent of sales, with BEVs at 7.2 percent, up 22.3 and 14.3 percent, respectively.

Porsche Cars North America delivered a record 70,065 vehicles in 2022, up 0.1 percent from 2021.

The brand’s Macan and Cayenne crossovers led the performance, with a combined 44,882 deliveries, up 7 percent from the prior year. Despite supply issues, the all-electric Taycan accounted for 10 percent of total sales.

Larry P. Vellequette contributed to this report.

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