(BLOOMBERG) — Mercedes-Benz has built an all-but insurmountable lead over rival BMW in the race for the title of the world’s biggest luxury-car brand, and that sales momentum looks set to continue through at least 2018.
Surging demand for sport utility vehicles including the GLC helped Mercedes deliveries jump 12 percent in the 11 months through November, more than double the pace of growth for BMW AG’s namesake brand. That left Mercedes more than 69,100 cars ahead of BMW for the period, making it all but certain of regaining the sales crown this year.
Relegating once-dominant BMW to the No. 2 rank for the first time in more than a decade, Mercedes is likely to sustain its strong delivery pace in 2017 thanks to a new version of the E-Class sedan rolled out last March. BMW will be held back by the changeover to a revamped 5-Series, which competes with the E-Class, while a new X3 SUV will come out too late next year to make much of an impact, said Commerzbank AG analyst Sascha Gommel.
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