Bayerische Motoren Werke AG boosted U.S. sales of its 3 Series cars 63 percent last month, helping the automaker set a June record and narrowing the luxury-vehicle lead of Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz.
Deliveries of the BMW brand rose 25 percent in June to 27,074, while Mercedes reported a gain of 9.8 percent from a year earlier to 24,415, according to statements today. Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus posted a 6.7 percent increase to 21,355.
The monthly results trim Mercedes’s lead this year to 1,519 vehicles as the two German automakers vie for the annual sales crown BMW has held for two years. Through May, Munich-based BMW had trailed Mercedes by 4,178 vehicles.
Mercedes sales for the year through June gained 10 percent to 141,950, Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler said. BMW said its deliveries for the period rose 11 percent to 140,431. The figures don’t include Daimler’s cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, which aren’t luxury vehicles.
Sales of BMW’s 3 Series, its top-selling model, surged to 10,957, helped by the new 320i, which starts at $32,550. BMW introduced the redesigned 3 Series in February 2012. Mercedes was led by gains of 17 percent to 7,639 for the C-Class sedan and 37 percent to 2,806 for the GLK-Class sport-utility vehicle.
Lexus reported a monthly increase of 50 percent for the ES sedan. The Toyota City, Japan-based company’s luxury brand said it sold 118,415 vehicles this year through June, up 9.5 percent. Lexus was the annual U.S. sales leader for 11 years until natural disasters in Asia curtailed 2011 output.
BMW’s status as annual leader for 2012 is based on reported sales. Based on vehicle registrations, Mercedes topped BMW last year, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co.
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