Mercedes-Benz expects to lose its lead in the U.

S. luxury market to German rival BMW , which is expected to be aggressive in its incentive strategy this month.

The automakers have been in a tight race for the top spot in the competitive U.S. luxury market, with Mercedes slightly ahead of BMW by about 2,000 vehicles through November.

But a top Mercedes executive said on Thursday that the luxury nameplate will likely fall back, even as it posts record U.S. sales of more than 270,000 for the year.

"I don't think we're going to win the sales race this year," Steve Cannon, the head of Mercedes-Benz USA, told reporters during a luncheon in Detroit.

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Mercedes-Benz Believes BMW Will Overtake Them For US Sales Crown

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