The September 2014 premium car sales numbers are in and BMW continues to lead globally, ahead of German rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz. But with a strong sales month, Mercedes is closing the gap.

BMW sales rose 6.1 percent last month to 167,584 cars and adding sales of its MINI brand, BMW posted a new record for September. In contrast, Audi’s sales drop 1.6 percent.

The year-to-date gap between BMW and Mercedes-Benz has shrunk to 124,336 vehicles from 146,946 autos in 2013. BMW has also seen its overall advantage over Audi shrink to 20,842 cars after nine months of 2014, compared with 28,836 at the same time a year ago.

BMW 3 series Touring vs Audi A4 Avant vs Mercedes C class Estate 655x381

Mercedes’ sales were aided by the redesigned E-Class and S-Class sedan, and in the US by the success of the CLA and GLA SUV.

BMW’s nine-month brand sales were up 9.1 percent to 1.32 million autos. Group deliveries, including the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, rose 6.5 percent in the first three quarters to a record 1.53 million vehicles.