BMW-brand sales in the United States rose 45 percent in November, further chipping away at Mercedes-Benz' lead in luxury-auto deliveries this year.
Sales for BMW's core brand increased to 31,213 vehicles last month, boosted by a 64 percent gain for its 5-series sedan. The Mercedes brand reported a 13 percent increase from a year earlier to 30,315, helped by sales of the E-class sedan, which rose 59 percent to 8,126. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus marque rose 17 percent to 22,719.
November's results narrowed Mercedes' lead to 1,849 vehicles, from 2,748 at the end of October. The two German automakers entered the final month of 2012 vying to be the top 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 United States for 11 years.
Mercedes' U.S. sales through November rose 12 percent to 245,910, according to the automaker. BMW posted a 10 percent increase to 244,061. For all of 2011, the BMW brand outsold Mercedes-branded cars in the United States by 2,715 vehicles. Lexus' U.S. sales totaled 213,559 vehicles through November, a 23 percent gain from a year earlier.
The sales results don't include Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, which aren't luxury vehicles.