BMW and Mercedes are on track to beat Lexus this year - the usual leader in U.S. premium sales which won the sales title in 2010.

It's still a horse-race for which brand is going to top the premium sales market in the United States.

But for the time being, BMW is the leader. The Bavarian brand topped the premium market in April by selling 18,801 units and beating its arch-rival Mercedes-Benz.

That puts BMW ahead in 2011 sales so far by just 29 units over Mercedes - with 71,417 vehicles sold under the BMW brand for the first four months of the year compared to Mercedes's 71,388 unit sales.

BMW sales were buoyed by the popularity of the relatively new 5-Series and new X3 models.

The leader in U.S. premium sales over most of the last decade has been Lexus which also won the sales title in 2010. But so far this year Lexus, plagued by production problems, has lagged behind, logging just 64,932 deliveries for the first four months of 2011.

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BMW tops Mercedes in U.S. premium sales in April - leads 2011 sales by just 29 units over arch-rival