Mercedes-Benz makes push to become the top luxury manufacturer 

February 26, 2013 12:00 AM

BMW may be the reigning king of luxury vehicles, but the latest reports show that the brand may have been surpassed by Mercedes-Benz. The two German automakers have been in a tight competition for the number one spot for the past several years, besting Toyota's Lexus brand, which was the top seller for more than a decade, after natural disasters throughout Japan halted production. 

Figures from R.L. Polk show that Mercedes-Benz customers registered 274,123 new cars in the 2012 calendar year, compared to 274,134 for BMW, AutoBlog reports. However, BMW claims to have outsold its competitor, although the data can be inconsistent as each manufacturer has its own way of tracking the numbers. 

Despite the surge to the top, the news may not all be positive for Mercedes-Benz. While the title of the top luxury seller may be nice to have, it doesn't carry the same weight with consumers as things like value or auto repair warranties. 

"A consumer buying a luxury car wants a vehicle that is more exclusive," Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence at TrueCar Inc., told Bloomberg. "So the argument of being the number one automaker in luxury may actually be counterproductive." 

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