Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus brand outsold luxury rivals Mercedes and BMW in the latest quarter as inventory shortages triggered by the pandemic hampered the German brands.
Lexus, which hasn’t won the annual US luxury sales race in a decade, grew 2 percent on the year to 75,285 vehicles in the third quarter. Deliveries at Daimler AG’s premium line declined 9.4 percent to 69,631 units, and BMW AG suffered a 16 percent decline to 69,570. Mercedes is still leading the other two carmakers year-to-date by a wide margin.
Lexus has weathered the pandemic better than its German rivals, with the brand’s best-selling RX SUV seeing strong demand. Both Mercedes and BMW have been hamstrung by tight inventory as the pandemic idled plants in Europe and the United States for weeks. Lexus saw a 31 percent jump in September alone, led by its RX, NX crossover, and ES sedan. That pared declines