The December 2014 sales are in and BMW has once again outpaced Mercedes-Benz to retain its title as the U.S. top premium brand.

BMW ended with a lead last year of more than 9,000 vehicles over Mercedes-Benz, which in 2013 seized a title BMW had held for the previous two years.

BMW USA sold 339,738 vehicles in 2014, a 9.8 percent jump from 2013. Mercedes-Benz brand showed an increase of 5.7 percent to 330,391 vehicles.


Last year, Mercedes-Benz outsold BMW by about 3,000 vehicles.

The U.S. luxury crown is hotly contested. In 2012, BMW’s title was measured by reported sales. Mercedes topped BMW in 2012 by vehicle registrations. Registration numbers aren’t available until a few months after a vehicle is sold.

The discrepancy between registrations and sales is because cars can be reported as sold when delivered to dealerships instead of only to consumers.

The strong demand for vehicles like the 3 Series, 4 Series and X5, helped secure the crown last year.

Third place was attributed to Lexus with 311,389 vehicles sold in 2014, up 13.7 from 2013.

Audi finished fourth, ahead of Cadillac. Audi’s sales of 182,011 were up 15.2 percent while Cadillac sales fell 6.5 percent to 170,750 vehicles.