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BMW’s U.S. October Sales Gain Narrows Mercedes’ Lead

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW U.S. sales rose 21 percent in October, narrowing the lead of Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz in luxury-auto deliveries this year.

Sales for BMW climbed to 26,451 vehicles last month, boosted by a 26 percent gain for its 3-Series. Mercedes yesterday reported a 5.9 percent increase from a year earlier to 23,978, 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’s 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 U.S. 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.

“What is going to be interesting is what will happen for the rest of the year,” Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence at, said in an interview. “The areas impacted by the hurricane are significant selling regions for the luxury-auto makers.”

Mercedes U.S. sales through October rose 12 percent to 215,596, according to the Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker. Munich-based 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.

The luxury sales competition normally intensifies during the final three months of the year.

Sandy’s Impact

Superstorm Sandy hit the mid-Atlantic, which Toprak estimates is home to as much as 25 percent of U.S. luxury vehicle sales. The storm’s aftermath should slow sales in the first half of this month, then boost deliveries in December as consumers replaced totaled vehicles, he said.

“For luxury vehicles, I expect it will be a net positive for the year because of replacement of total-loss vehicles,” he said.

Ford Motor Co. sold 5,154 Lincolns in October, a 15 percent decrease from a year earlier, according to a statement yesterday from the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker.

General Motors Co.’s Cadillac rose 14 percent to 13,505 vehicles in October, helped by an 11 percent gain in sales of the SRX crossover SUV and the new ATS compact sedan, the Detroit-based automaker said in a statement.

Sales of Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co.’s Acura brand rose 9.4 percent to 12,163 last month, the company said in a statement.

Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti sold 8,757 vehicles last month, a 28 percent gain from a year earlier, the Yokohama, Japan-based company said in a statement yesterday.

U.S. sales of Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand rose 15 percent last month to 11,708, the company said in a statement.

Porsche AG, the Stuttgart-based automaker that is now part of VW, sold 3,211 vehicles in the U.S. last month, a 41 percent increase, the company said in a statement.

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