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Mercedes, BMW vie for US luxury car crown

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In a first, two German manufacturers — Mercedes-Benz and BMW — are dueling for the honor of being the top luxury brand sold in the United States.

With the champion of the past 11 years, Toyota’s Lexus, hobbled by the fallout from Japan’s March 11 earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown disaster, the two Teutonic giants are going at it head-on to snatch the crown, a highly visible symbol of automotive supremacy.

The 2011 race is closing in a genuine side-by-side, wheel-to-wheel sprint to the finish.
Right now, BMW holds a slight lead, but US sales for Mercedes surged in November, climbing more than 40 percent.

Sales of BMWs rose only seven percent, leaving it clinging to a slender lead of only 1,500 units for the year.

The latest figures from the companies show BMW has sold 221,073 vehicles so far this year, while Mercedes has sold 219,491.

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