In a nail-biting finish, BMW has claimed the title of America’s most popular luxury automaker ahead of rival Mercedes-Benz.
The brand announced January 5 that US sales totaled 247,907 throughout 2011, beating Mercedes-Benz to the top spot by just 2,715 vehicles.
Both automakers saw demand surge 13 percent during 2011, figures showed, with healthy discounts and incentives offered on popular models such as the Mercedes-Benz C Class and BMW 3 Series to spur consumers on.
Both companies delayed releasing their December and final year results, opting to wait until all other automakers had reported and keeping analysts on tenterhooks — earlier estimates from Autodata incorrectly suggested that Mercedes-Benz had snatched the crown.
Lexus, the leader of the US luxury car market for the past 11 years, released its figures January 4, confirming a 13 percent fall in sales because of disruption following the Japanese earthquake — it shifted 198,552 models.