Last year proved to be challenging for a number of car companies looking to post yet new record-breaking sales figures in the luxury segment. As a whole the US market went down for the first time in seven years, marking a drop of 0.2 percent in the luxury segment and a 1.8 percent cut overall cut for the entire automotive field. The battle at the top is therefore fiercer than ever and BMW managed to snag second place in the US this year, beating Lexus by a mere 553 vehicles.

The two companies basically traded places compared to 2016, when Lexus came in second, with BMW third. The Bavarians managed to defeat the Japanese competition thanks to a strong December where sales went up by 4.3 percent on account of the popularity of the new 5 Series, X1 and X5 SUV models. Over the entire 2017, BMW sold 305,685 vehicles, a drop of 2.4 percent compared to 2016.

First place was taken for a second time by Mercedes-Benz, with total sales of 337,246 units. The Stuttgart-based manufacturer also posted lower numbers than in 2016, sales shrinking by 0.9 percent. Lexus came in third in the US, with sales totaling 305,132, down 7.9 percent. While the top three companies showed a slowdown in sales, Audi managed to post a noteworthy increase of 7.8 percent overall across 2017, being one of only 7 luxury brands out of the 13 operating on the US market to post an increase in sales.

The downfall of luxury brands is mainly attributed to the current shift in preferences towards SUVs and crossovers and moving away from sedans and Coupes, no matter how they are packaged. 2018 might see some of these brands make comebacks as more crossovers and SUVs are coming. BMW, for example, will have the new X2 on offer and the X7 is being expected, to appeal to those looking for the ultimate luxury in a bigger package.