After reporting news that MBUSA was ahead of BMW in U.
S. Sales, recent reports from Bloomberg have emerged that Mercedes-Benz is not in the same position on the global market. In global luxury sales, Mercedes-Benz is falling further behind rivals BMW and Audi because of a disjointed strategy in China, sluggish expansion of entry-level models and an aging S-class sedan, the once-dominant upscale nameplate remains firmly in third place.
The Mercedes sales gap with second-placed Audi has more than doubled within a year, hampering Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche’s pledge to retake the lead.
“Mercedes’s problems are home-made problems,” said Christian Ludwig, an analyst with Bankhaus Lampe in Dusseldorf. “It’s going to be extremely difficult for Mercedes to reach the No. 1 spot. The others are not sleeping.”
Mercedes delivered 964,900 cars and sport-utility vehicles worldwide through the first nine months of 2012. The 5 percent gain failed to keep pace with rivals, meaning it lagged Audi by 132,600 vehicles, up from 53,900 a year ago. The gap to No. 1 BMW widened 41 percent to 145,000 vehicles, according to data from the carmakers.
In September 2011, Zetsche sought to cap the celebrations for the automaker’s 125th anniversary by setting the goal for Mercedes to become the best-selling and most profitable luxury-car brand by 2020. At the time, he said it was “impossible” for the brand to accept being third....