DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- BMW's U.S. sales rose 21 percent in October, narrowing the lead of Mercedes-Benz in luxury auto sales this year.
Sales for BMW climbed to 26,451 vehicles last month, boosted by a 26 percent gain for its 3 series. Mercedes reported a 5.9 percent increase from a year earlier to 23,978 on Thursday, helped by updated versions of the C class small sedan. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus rose 9.7 percent to 19,850.
The October results trimmed Mercedes' ten-month lead to 2,748 vehicles, from 5,221 at the end of September. The two German automakers are vying to be the No. 1 luxury-auto brand in the United States after BMW outsold Lexus last year. Lexus, hurt in 2011 by vehicle shortages following natural disasters in Asia, had been the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S. for 11 years.
Mercedes U.S. sales through October rose 12 percent to 215,596, according to the automaker.
BMW posted a 6.7 percent increase to 212,848. For all of 2011, BMW outsold Mercedes in the U.S. by 2,715 vehicles.
The sales results don't include Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, which aren't luxury vehicles.