The U.S. car luxury segment was nearly flat in May, with an increase of only 0.5 percent (168,126 units). All the three top luxury automakers – BMW, Mercedes and Lexus – posted hefty declines. Mercedes-Benz, despite posting an 8.2 percent decline widened its lead for the top spot in U.S. luxury sales over BMW, which reported an 11 percent drop for the month. Through May, Mercedes is nearly 13,000 vehicles ahead of BMW.

But Mercedes did lose the year-to-date sales gain it had at the end of April. Through the first five months of the year, the brand’s luxury sales are now down 1 percent to 132,966 vehicles. The brand’s volume leaders in May included the C-class, GLE and E-class lines.

BMW deliveries fell to 25,818 in May. BMW’s sales for the year to date are down 3.6 percent to 120,124. The 5 Series was the star last month with sales accounting for a 13 percent increase. The X1 was also up 13 percent while the X3 is the leader with 22 percent of sales.

“Our all-new BMW 5 Series is now showing its strength as availability increases and production begins to match demand,” BMW of North America CEO Bernhard Kuhnt said in a statement. “At the same time, demand for BMW sports activity vehicles remains solid with the X1 and the X3 delivering the standout numbers for May.”

No. 3 Lexus posted sales of 25,401 vehicles in May, down 4.8 percent. The decline was driven by much-lower Lexus car sales, which fell 21 percent.

Mercedes, BMW and Lexus were the only three mainstream luxury brands to post declines in May, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Luxury brands with big improvements in May included Jaguar, up 44 percent; Infiniti, up 16 percent; Volvo, up 12 percent; and Cadillac, up 9.2 percent.

[Source: Bloomberg]