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Bayerische Motoren Werke AG held onto the lead in global luxury-car sales as demand for 5-Series sedans and X5 sport-utility vehicles helped edge out Audi AG.

BMW delivered about 1,000 more vehicles than Volkswagen AG’s Audi in May as the race for the top spot tightened, according to figures from the carmakers. Through the first five months of 2014, Audi’s sales climbed 12 percent, outpacing BMW’s 11 percent gain. That helped the world’s second-largest maker of premium cars cut Munich-based BMW’s lead to about 8,200 autos from 11,000 a year ago.

Audi has been closing the gap to BMW in recent years with an expanded model lineup in a bid to become the best-selling luxury-auto brand by the end of the decade. In April, the VW unit rolled out a sedan version of the A3 in the U.S., helping sales there jump 26 percent last month. BMW responded with the 2-Series compact coupe, which went on sale in March.




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