Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW U.S. sales surged 39 percent in December, powered by the 5 Series car line, helping it top Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz in luxury-auto deliveries for the second consecutive year.
Sales for BMW increased to 37,399 vehicles last month, boosted by a 72 percent gain for its midsize 5 Series. Mercedes reported a 9.5 percent increase from a year earlier to 28,145, helped by sales of the E-Class sedan, which rose 32 percent to 6,984. Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus rose 21 percent to 30,607.
December’s sales vaulted BMW past Mercedes, which held a 1,849-vehicle lead through November. BMW finished 2012 with 281,460 vehicles sold, topping Mercedes-Benz by 7,326. The two German automakers were vying to be the top luxury-auto brand in the U.S. after outselling Lexus last year. Lexus was the top- selling luxury brand in the U.S. for 11 years until natural disasters in Asia curtailed vehicle production in 2011.
“The post-recession sales momentum that started in 2010 reached an unprecedented level in December, making us strongly confident and optimistic as we enter 2013,” Ludwig Willisch, chief executive officer of BMW of North America, said in a statement.
BMW’s U.S. sales rose 14 percent for 2012, the Munich-based automaker said today. Stuttgart, Germany-based Mercedes’s 2012 U.S. sales rose 12 percent to 274,134, the automaker said. In 2011, BMW topped Mercedes in the U.S. by 2,715 vehicles. Lexus’s U.S. sales totaled 244,166 vehicles in 2012, a 23 percent gain from a year earlier and its highest volume since 2008.
The sales results don’t include Daimler’s cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, which aren’t luxury vehicles.
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