BMW is not only claiming sales victory among luxury vehicles in the U.S. for 2011, it's looking to maintain supremacy well into 2012. "We have a window to stay No. 1 in the first quarter," says Ludwig Willisch, who just took over BMW's North American operations in an interview with Bloomberg News. "Our model lineup is broad. We have a lot of opportunities to get there."
With Lexus on the ropes due to lower sales in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been rushing to get to the top of the luxury heap. Now BMW is hoping to get an edge going into next year with its redesigned 3 Series, recently unveiled in Germany.
As of the end of last month, BMW was leading with 219,569 compared to Mercedes' 186,300, according to Autodata. But Ernst Lieb, Mercedes' U.S. chief until he was deposed in the past few days, had predicted that Mercedes would come out on top when its decidedly non-luxury Sprinter van is included in the sales.