January 2013 Sales: Mercedes C-Class Beats BMW 3 Series

January 2013 was a good month for most of the automotive industry, but it didn't go well for many entry-level sport/luxury sedans. Amidst a pack of competitors with negative numbers on their sales sheets, however, there was one winner: the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

The C-Class pulled out a convincing win in January with 7214 sales, some 10.6 percent higher than January 2012. It's exactly 2383 units higher than the second-place challenger, the BMW 3 Series. The 3 Series was down 27.9 percent on January 2012, although some of that percentage change can be attributed to BMW clearing inventories of old, E90-generation cars in preparation for the new F30-generation car's release in February/March.

While the 3 Series and C-Class each sold more than 4000 units last month, the distance between the top two competitors and the rest of the pack is pretty wide. The third-place finisher was the Infiniti G, which was down 26.2 percent to 2815 units during the same month Infiniti unveiled the G's successor. Fifth place was the Audi A4, up 3 percent to 2755 sales.

Fourth place goes to the Cadillac ATS, which sold 2781 units. It's less than half the volume of the C-Class, but it's also 26 more units than the veteran Audi A4. The ATS, it would seem, is catching on. So is the Volvo S60: the Swedish sedan sold 1954 units last month, up 38.1 percent (the largest gain of any of the competitors).

Competitors eight through eleven weren't as lucky. The Acura TL was down 34.4 percent to 1497 units, while the Lexus IS dropped 23.4 percent to 1386 units (as a new model was announced). The Acura TSX slid 41.5 percent to 1326 units, and the Buick Regal sold just 1005 units last month, 45.8 percent less than January 2012.

Sources: Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Nissan, GM, Audi, Volvo, Honda

Jan-13 Jan-12 % Change
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 7214 6525 10.6%
BMW 3 Series 4831 6698 -27.9%
Infiniti G 2815 3816 -26.2%
Cadillac ATS 2781 0 N/A
Audi A4 2755 2676 3.0%
Volvo S60 1954 1415 38.1%
Acura TL 1497 2283 -34.4%
Lexus IS 1386 1810 -23.4%
Acura TSX 1326 2266 -41.5%
Buick Regal 1005 1855 -45.8%

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