Mercedes-Benz kept the U.S. luxury sales crown for the third year in a row in 2018, beating rival BMW by just under 5,000 vehicles.
Mercedes sales were down 6.3 percent to 315,959, while BMW reported a rise of 1.7 percent to 311,014. Lexus volume dropped 2.2 percent to 298,310 and Audi deliveries fell 1.4 percent to 223,323. Tesla sold 182,400 cars, up from 48,000 the year before.
Overall, U.S. luxury sales fell 0.3 percent to 2 million vehicles, even as overall industry volume edged up 0.6 percent.
Acura leapfrogged Cadillac, selling 158,934 vehicles and topping Cadillac by 4,232 units.
Among other luxury brands, U.S. sales in 2018 rose at Land Rover, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Acura and Volvo but slipped at Jaguar, Infiniti, Genesis and Cadillac.
"Luxury will remain as hot as ever in 2019, with a slew of new product and new segment entries," said Akshay Anand, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. "The sales crown may mean a lot to automakers, but to consumers, what matters is finding the best bang for their buck in a time when most vehicles out there are rock-solid."