BMW consolidated its U.S. sales lead, if barely, over rival Mercedes-Benz in April.
The German performance car brand sold 23,816 vehicles in the U.S. last month, a 1.4 percent increase from the prior year. The growth was fueled by a 36 percent surge in crossover sales.
BMW has momentum on its side. The automaker has enjoyed three consecutive months of sales gains, while Mercedes has suffered six consecutive months of declining deliveries.
In April, Mercedes sold 22,949 vehicles, not including commercial vans. The automaker blamed its 16 percent year-over-year sales tumble on model changes and limited supply of high-volume SUV and compact line models.
For the year, BMW maintains a 3,584 vehicle lead over Mercedes, which has worn the luxury sales crown for the past three years.
The luxury sector was not immune to auto industry headwinds, said Akshay Anand, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book
"As usual, the 'winners' of the month in luxury primarily consisted of SUVs, a sign that even increasing gas prices is not slowing down the SUV boom," Anand said. "It's going to be a tricky 2019 to navigate for luxury automakers who don't want to throw tons of incentives at vehicles in order to move metal."
Crossovers powered BMW in April, accounting for 48 percent of the month's sales. Top performers included the X3, X5 and X7 crossovers and the 3-series sedan.
A wave of new and updated products this year has BMW bullish on 2019.
"We've said before that our focus for 2019 would be profitability and growth — and we're right where we want to be," BMW of North America CEO Bernhard Kuhnt said in a statement.
BMW sales of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles decreased 52 percent in April, compared with the prior year. Model changeover limited the current electrified lineup to five models, including the i3, i8 and i8 Roadster, BMW said.
Mercedes volume leaders in March included the GLC, C-class and E-class model lines. The GLC led totals with 5,378 vehicles followed by C-class sales of 4,054. The E class rounded out the top three with 3,372.
Porsche Cars North America reported April U.S. sales of 5,018 vehicles, down 9.9 percent from the same time last year. The primary reason for the year-over-year decline was a model-year change of volume leader Macan. Porsche's large crossover, the Cayenne, saw a brisk 86 percent surge in sales in April compared with the prior year.