Sales of the BMW brand increased 3.1 percent to 16,405 units in January in the United States, the automaker revealed in a statement. On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz deliveries leaped 24 percent to 20,306, as sales of its C-class model boosted 56 percent, the company disclosed.
With these figures, BMW was unable to maintain its lead versus Mercedes in terms of January U.S. sales, receiving some payback after December's sales push to close its place as the top-selling U.S. luxury brand in 2011. Meanwhile, deliveries of the Lexus brand slid 4.6 percent to 12,274 units last month.
Analyst Jesse Toprak at Santa Monica, California-based TrueCar.com commented that BMW "perhaps" was a "bit more aggressive" in its marketing and incentive endeavors in December that may have pulled ahead some of its sales from January. BMW deliveries increased 13 percent in 2011 to 247,907 units, assisted by the refurbished X3 SUV. This figure allowed the company to be heralded as the bestselling luxury brand in the U.S. after Lexus had held the position for 11 years.
Lexus sales dropped 13 percent last year to 198,552 units, as it was adversely affected by production shortages after the March earthquake in Japan. Mercedes, which was aided by the new coupe and the updated C-class sedan, ended 2011 in the No. 2 spot, behind BMW with 2,715 fewer sales.
Mercedes' sales increased 13 percent in the U.S. last year to 245,192 units. The results do not include Daimler's Sprinter vans and Smart cars as well as BMW's Mini brand, which are not luxury vehicles. Sales of BMW's 3-series increased by 16 percent to 6,698 units last month amid preparations to introduce a redesigned variant to showrooms next month.