DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Mercedes-Benz extended its lead over BMW in the U.S. luxury sales race, with a 5.8 percent gain in April.
Sales for the Mercedes brand rose to 23,635 in April, led by gains for the C-class sedan and M-class SUV. The BMW brand posted a 10 percent increase in April to 23,225, the company said today in a statement.
The April results widened Mercedes's 2013 lead to 4,695 vehicles as the two German automakers compete for the sales crown BMW secured the past two years. BMW won last year with a December surge, based on reported sales. Measured by vehicle registrations, Mercedes topped BMW, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co.
Mercedes sales for the year through April gained 11 percent to 92,822, parent Daimler AG said in a statement. BMW's 2013 deliveries rose 6.7 percent to 88,127.
Pricier luxury models, such as BMW’s 7 series, which starts at $73,600, and the Audi A8, which starts at $72,200, rose 69 percent and 30 percent respectively. The Mercedes SL-class, which starts at $105,000, more than tripled to 938 deliveries in April.
“These are small numbers but still these are really sizeable gains for some of the most expensive vehicles in the market today, excluding the exotics,” Alec Gutierrez, an auto analyst for Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California, said in a telephone interview.
Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus reported a 3.1 percent increase for April, to 18,091, as deliveries of the ES sedan surged 71 percent and the RX SUV rose 3.1 percent. Lexus, which was the annual sales leader for 11 years until natural disasters in Asia curtailed 2011 output, said it has sold 74,831 vehicles this year, a 12 percent gain.
U.S. sales at General Motors Co.'s Cadillac surged 34 percent to 13,230 vehicles, the automaker said. The brand's year-to-date sales have risen 37 percent to 55,942 units.
Volkswagen AG's Audi brand posted a 14 percent gain to 13,157 vehicles, according to a statement. That was the brand's 28th straight month of record sales. The gains included 27 percent for the A5 sedan and 32 percent for the Q5 SUV. Sales for the year rose 15 percent to 47,343.
Porsche, now part of Volkswagen, said in a statement that it sold 4,032 vehicles in the U.S. in April, a monthly record, for a 17 percent gain.
The results don't include Daimler's cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW's Mini brand, which aren't luxury vehicles.
Honda Motor Co.’s Acura brand boosted sales 14 percent to 13,899 last month, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement.
Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti sold 7,844 vehicles, an increase of 10 percent from a year earlier, the automaker said in a statement.
Ford Motor Co. sold 7,615 Lincolns in April, a 21 gain from a year earlier, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker reported. Ford said sales of the MKZ sedan more than doubled to 4,102, the first time the model has topped the 4,000 mark.