DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Lexus, which lost its crown as the top-selling luxury auto brand in the U.S. last year, increased sales 34 percent last month to push past Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
It's the first time Toyota's luxury brand beat both of its German competitors to be No. 1 in monthly sales since December 2010 before inventory was hurt by last year's natural disasters in Asia. Lexus sold 24,237 vehicles in August, the company said in a statement.
While Lexus won the month, it still trails Mercedes and BMW for the year. U.S. sales of Mercedes rose 11 percent to 20,557 last month, extending its lead in the race for the luxury crown this year by more than 3,800 units over BMW.
The BMW brand, after surging in July with the help of incentives aimed at encouraging dealers to buy demo vehicles, declined 19 percent in August to 16,835.
Mercedes U.S. sales through August rose 14 percent to 168,462, according to the automaker.
BMW, which overtook Lexus last year to become the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S., sold 164,636 through August, a 5.6 percent gain, the company said. BMW beat Mercedes last year by 2,715 deliveries in the U.S.
Through August, Lexus sales gained 25 percent to 150,604. Toyota has targeted a 25 percent increase to 250,000 vehicles this year.
Mercedes expanded its lead over BMW from 104 U.S. deliveries through July. The sales results don't include Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, which aren't luxury vehicles.
"With an all-time record setting year so far and now with exciting product in the pipeline, including the all-new GL-Class currently on its way to dealers across the country, we plan to build on this momentum through the end of the year," Steve Cannon, head of Mercedes in the U.S., said in a statement.