BMW’s March surge narrows Mercedes’ U.S. luxury sales lead

DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- The BMW brand posted its best March sales ever in the United States, helping the luxury automaker shrink Mercedes-Benz’s 2014 lead.

BMW sold 32,107 vehicles last month, an increase of 19 percent from a year earlier, led by its mid-size sedans and SUVs. Mercedes sold 27,401 vehicles last month, a gain of 11 percent from a year earlier, led by its top-of-the-line S-class sedan and entry-level SUV, the GLK, according to a statement today.

BMW reported a combined 14 percent increase to 10,120 deliveries for its 3- and 4-series vehicles and a 46 percent jump to 4,430 for the X3 SUVs. Sales of Mercedes’s S-class, which starts at $92,900, almost doubled to 2,299 in March, while the GLK, its most affordable SUV at a starting price of $37,480, rose 24 percent to 3,345.

BMW’s surge narrowed Mercedes’s lead for the year to 237 vehicles, from 4,943 at the end of February. BMW ceded the annual U.S. luxury-sales crown to Mercedes in 2013, ending a two-year reign.

The figures don’t include Daimler’s cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, which aren’t luxury vehicles.

Mercedes for all of last year outsold BMW by 3,254 units, in results by reported sales. By vehicle registrations, Mercedes outsold BMW by 2,270 last year, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co.