Mercedes-Benz strengthens its lead in the race for luxury car sales

Mercedes-Benz was one of the few companies to post sales gains in the Australian new car market last month, despite switching to non-negotiable fixed prices at the start of the year.

German car giant Mercedes-Benz posted an unlikely sales gain in a market that reversed last month.

Official new car sales data for April 2022 shows Mercedes-Benz overtook rivals Audi and BMW in April, and extended its lead year-to-date.

After a stalled start to the year following the introduction of a new non-negotiable fixed price business model – which is at the center of a Federal Court case brought against the German car giant by a group of aggrieved dealers – Mercedes-Benz has won its third victory in four months against its main competitors.

April was a particularly difficult month for Audi (down 19.1%) and BMW (down 22.8%), as both companies struggled with stockouts.

By comparison, Mercedes-Benz sales rose in April 2022 from the same month a year earlier, up 7.3% in a market down 12.2%.

As is the case with the entire auto industry, the luxury car sector is also grappling with severe production slowdowns and bottlenecks in shipments.

Other luxury brands to see big gains in April 2022 amid the last recession: Aston Martin (up 22%), Bentley (up 22%), both of which saw increased sales due to of the arrival of new or updated SUVs.

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, spending most of his time working for the Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and an early member of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice/Drive in late 2018 and was a World Car of the Year judge for 10 years.

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