Mercedes-Benz has taken the lead in the 2013 U.S. luxury car sales race against BMW. They delivered 22,501 cars.

Mercedes-Benz has taken an early lead in the 2013 U.S. luxury car sales race against BMW.

2012 was an intense year in luxury sales in the United States as the battle between Mercedes-Benz and BMW was extremely close, with the latter taking the win with just 7,326 cars sold more than Mercedes.

Circumstances might change this year as Mercedes-Benz is now in first place after selling 22,501 cars in January, representing an 11 percent increase. A large part of the sales boost has to do with the C-Class sedan as deliveries of this model rose by 11 percent to 7,214 units.

As for BMW, their sales went up by 0.7 percent to 16,513 cars, helped by a significant 56 percent gain for the X5. Toyota's sales rose by 32 percent to 16,211, thanks to ES sedan deliveries which more than doubled to 5,186 vehicles.

These numbers do not include Mercedes-Benz's cargo vans and Smart cars, nor do they contain BMW's MINI sales since these cars are not luxury vehicles.

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