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BMW maintained its lead over German rival Mercedes-Benz in a stagnant U.S. luxury auto market in May, as the all-new X7 paced its crossover lineup and the revamped 3 series tempered the decline in demand for its sedans.

Sales for BMW AG’s namesake brand rose 1.7 percent to 27,109 units, beating Mercedes’ 0.4 percent gain to 27,080. BMW has delivered more than 2,100 X7s in each of the first three months it’s been in U.S. showrooms, and updates to the 3 series fueled a 27 percent surge in May deliveries.

BMW is now leading Daimler AG’s Mercedes by 3,613 units for 2019. May was the first month the latter brand boosted sales this year as demand picked up for the GLA, GLE and GLC crossovers.

Toyota's Lexus brand finished third in the race with sales falling 3.4 percent to 24,537 units while Audi came in fourth with sales slipping 2.2 percent to 18,892 vehicles.

The overall U.S. luxury market in May was essentially unchanged with sales of 180,717 units -- a gain of 73 vehicles over the same month last year.

Through May, luxury sales fell 0.9 percent to 839,366 vehicles, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Automotive News contributed to this report.
 
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