It may not seem like a big deal over here, but Germany's BMW group expects to sell more vehicles than the Mercedes car group this year. If BMW comes out on top, it will be the first time in a decade.
At stake are bragging rights and national pride because Mercedes-Benz traditionally has been the haughty big brother.
BMW claims it will beat Mercedes this year with nearly 1.4 million worldwide sales and grab the mythical crown as global luxury car champ, according to Automobilwoche, our German-language sister publication.
But wait, it isn't quite that simple.
BMW's calculation folds in sales of its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, while giving Mercedes credit for Maybach and Smart-brand sales.
You can expect to hear some chest-beating from BMW execs in Munich. There's no telling how long the Bavarian automaker can keep the crown. If Dieter Zetsche gets things humming again at Mercedes, it could be short-lived.
And then there's Lexus.
The Japanese luxury brand is expanding its marketing in Europe with more diesels and is just ramping up in Japan. BMW and Mercedes execs underestimated what Lexus could do in the United States, the brand's first market, but they're not likely to make that mistake again in Europe or anywhere else.
Even so, it won't be long before it's a three-way race.
Purists will be able to debate this year's results because like darned near everything involving statistics, it all depends on how you slice and dice it.
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