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Mercedes extends U.S. luxury lead over BMW
Mercedes-Benz extended its lead over BMW in the U.S. luxury sales race, with a 5.8 percent gain in April.

Sales for the Mercedes brand rose to 23,635 in April, led by gains for the C-class sedan and M-class SUV. The BMW brand posted a 10 percent increase in April to 23,225, the company said today in a statement.

The April results widened Mercedes' 2013 lead to 4,695 vehicles as the two German automakers compete for the sales crown BMW secured the past two years. BMW won last year with a December surge, based on reported sales. Measured by vehicle registrations, Mercedes topped BMW, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co.

Mercedes sales for the year through April gained 11 percent to 92,822, parent Daimler aid in a statement. BMW's 2013 deliveries rose 6.7 percent to 88,127.

Pricier luxury models, such as BMW's 7 series, which starts at $73,600, and the Audi A8, which starts at $72,200, rose 69 percent and 30 percent respectively. The Mercedes SL-class, which starts at $105,000, more than tripled to 938 deliveries in April.

"These are small numbers but still these are really sizeable gains for some of the most expensive vehicles in the market today, excluding the exotics," Alec Gutierrez, an auto analyst for Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California, said.

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