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Mercedes, BMW vie for US luxury car crown

Published on Dec 30, 2011 7:25 PM

DETROIT (AFP) - In a first, two German manufacturers - Mercedes-Benz and BMW - are duelling for the honour 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 United States (US) sales for Mercedes surged in November, climbing more than 40 per cent.

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