In 2009 BMW may reclaim its title as the most popular luxury brand in America. For eight straight years BMW has wound up in second place with Lexus taking the top spot.
With automakers reporting June sales tomorrow some numbers are already in and a quick comparison shows BMW ahead of Lexus by a slight margin. At the half-way point in the year Lexus has total sales of 73,186 units, compared to BMW's 76,819 units.
Despite the popularity of BMWs, being at the top of the heap is not something the German automaker is familiar with. In fact, the only other time BMW was the sales-leading luxury maker was back in 1997.
Lincoln held the title in '98 and Mercedes clinched it in '99, with almost every year before then (back until 1946) attributed to Cadillac.
Sales of Lexus vehicles have decreased this year at a rate consistent with the market, with overall volume down 37.2 percent. BMW, however, is suffering slightly less with a sales decline of just 30.5 percent.
According to market share percentages the race is too close to call as both the German and Japanese luxury automakers can claim 1.9 percent of the overall U.S. market.
While BMW is ahead, Lexus may still give the German automaker a run to the finish as it is launching several higher-volume models this year including the convertible version of the IS sedan and the HS250h hybrid.
More: BMW Poised to Oust Lexus as Top Selling Luxury Brand in the U.S.