Originally Posted by ToyotaBMW
If you look at Audi and MB numbers on their January sales then you will know what killed them in the sedan segment.
MB has been very aggressive on the pricing front with their lower end C250 and C300 and E300 etc., while Audi has attracted new customers.
IMO BMW has been too aggressive on the leasing front in the last 5years and you see everyone driving a bimmer. This has caused it to lose some of it's rarity and prestige in North America. Hence customers in this segment are looking at competitors either be it better cars or just something that they don't see so many of everyday.
IMO being the sales leader is not really what you want in the luxury department as it dilutes the brand when you see so many.
+1 This is exactly correct. You will see Mercedes sales of higher market vehicles decrease after the CLA gains market share. Who wants to spend $65k for a well equipped E when the 20 something next to you has a car from the same brand and the brand in its entirety is devalued? I myself am 20 and I know that's a huge detractor to me. This matters to premium consumers, most of whom aren't enthusiasts and they are buying the badge above all other factors. There are extensive surveys that concur with my opinion. I can send links to the studies if anybody wants to see them. Some of them were done by Lexus oddly enough.