Mercedes-Benz, the leader in luxury sales after the first quarter but topped by BMW in the second quarter, continues to lose ground as the automaker grapples with production shortfalls caused by tight semiconductor supplies that have roiled the industry since the start of the year.
Mercedes now stands in third place, behind BMW and Lexus, as its third-quarter U.S. deliveries tumbled 21 percent to 55,130.
"The chip supply situation remains volatile and the shortage is expected to continue to impact the upcoming quarters in terms of production and sales," Mercedes warned in a statement.
BMW, powered by strong demand for crossovers, holds a 4,808-vehicle lead over Lexus and a nearly 28,000-vehicle advantage over Mercedes for the year. In the latest quarter, BMW sold 75,619 vehicles, up 8.7 percent.
Light trucks accounted for 60 percent of BMW's quarterly sales. BMW was the top-selling U.S. luxury nameplate in 2019 and 2020.
At Lexus, U.S. deliveries rose 7.7 percent to 81,093 in the latest quarter.
Among other luxury brands, Audi reported sales of 41,019 in the quarter, down 14 percent from a year earlier.
Volvo's third-quarter sales inched 4.2 percent higher to 31,611. But, September sales fell 9 percent, ending the Swedish automaker's 15-month streak of year-over year gains.
Tesla remains a wild card in the standings. According to the Automotive News Research & Data Center, Tesla delivered an estimated 84,000 cars and crossovers in the third quarter, up 55 percent from a year earlier.
That would put Tesla in first place for the quarter. But Tesla only release sales quarterly and doesn't provide a breakdown by region, making estimates difficult. Other data houses came in with a lower figure for Tesla.
Tesla continues to makes strides in U.S. registration figures, which lag automakers' monthly reports.