With just three months to go, Mercedes-Benz remains ahead of BMW in the U.S. luxury sales race. Mercedes recorded a solid month of sales in September, putting the luxury automaker 5,221 units ahead of its cross-country rival.
Thanks to strong sales of its C-Class model line and update GLK compact SUV, Mercedes improved its September sales 7 percent to 23,156 units. BMW, meanwhile, posted a modest 0.1 percent gain to 21,761 vehicles.
For the year Mercedes-Benz' sales are up 13 percent to 191,618 deliveries. That puts the Stuttgart-based automaker just ahead of BMW's 186,397 nine-moth sales tally.
Despite its deficit, BMW is confident that it will remain the U.S.' best-selling luxury brand this year. BMW, which knocked off Lexus last year to take the top spot, is rolling out its new X1 compact crossover and an all-wheel drive version of its 3-Series, which the company believes will be enough to vault it past Mercedes in the last few selling months of the year.
"What counts is that we are in the No. 1 position New Year's Day and we plan to do that by a healthy margin," Ludwig Willisch, head of BMW's U.S. Operations, told Bloomberg.
Lexus, which held the No. 1 luxury spot for 11 consecutive years, has improved its sales 26 percent to 170,990 units this year. However, the Japanese-based automaker concedes it won't challenge Mercedes or BMW for the crown this year.