Mercedes-Benz, the top-selling luxury-auto brand in the U.

S. in 2013, started out the year ahead of No. 2 BMW with record January sales, the carmaker said.

The Daimler brand sold 22,604 vehicles last month, 103 more than a year earlier, led by the new entry-level CLA compact car, the carmaker said. BMW, surpassed by Mercedes in 2013, reported an 11 percent gain to 18,253.

Mercedes and BMW are among luxury automakers expanding with lower-cost models. Sales of entry-level cars and SUVs represent 67 percent of the U.S. luxury market and probably will keep growing this year, Bloomberg Industries forecasts. Mercedes will benefit from a full year of its CLA, which starts at $29,900, a refreshed C class and a new GLA small SUV, while BMW is introducing a $33,025 2-series coupe.


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One Month In And Mercedes-Benz Leads The Luxury Car Sales Car Race

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