Pop the corks. BMW has beaten Mercedes (and Lexus) to hold onto the luxury sales crown in the US. Bloomberg is reporting that BMW officially has topped Mercedes-Benz in U.S. luxury-brand sales for the second consecutive year.

Sales for BMW increased to 37,399 vehicles last month, boosted by a 72 percent gain for its midsize 5 series. Mercedes reported a 9.5 percent increase from a year earlier to 28,145, helped by sales of the E-class sedan, which rose 32 percent to 6,984. Lexus rose 21 percent to 30,607.

December ‘s sales drive pushed BMW past the 1,849 unit lead Mercedes, held through November. BMW finished 2012 with a total of 281,460 sales and bested 2011 ‘s runner up for king of the luxury market Mercedes-Benz by 7,326.

BMW ‘s U.S. sales rose 14 percent for 2012. Mercedes ‘s 2012 U.S. sales rose 12 percent to 274,134 excluding Sprinter cargo vans. Last year BMW topped Mercedes in the United States by 2,715 vehicles. Sales tallies do not include Sprinter Vans, Smart (Daimler) or MINI as they are not classified in the luxury segment and are not under the respective brand names although under the parent company.

In a nutshell, BMW picked up where it was last year and added on to the victory by a sizable margin. What this means to anyone outside of investors is still debatable.

“To turn months of critically short supply into the best year ever for the BMW Group in the U.S. is a monumental achievement, emphasizing what a customer-oriented dealer network with an agile logistics team can do,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. “The post-recession sales momentum that started in 2010 reached an unprecedented level in December, making us strongly confident and optimistic as we enter 2013.”

BMW Brand Sales

Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 39.4 percent in December for a total of 37,399 compared to 26,834 vehicles sold in December, 2011. For the year, BMW brand sales were up 13.5 percent to 281,460 vehicles compared to 247,907 sold 2011.

For 2012, best performing vehicles included the 5 Series, up 10.3 percent to 56,798 units; the 6 Series, up 110.3 percent to 8,208 units; and the X3, up 26.6 percent to 35,173 units.

BMW Pre-Owned Vehicles

In December, sales of BMW used vehicles (including certified pre-owned and pre-owned) totaled 16,728, an increase of 2.9 percent from the 16,264 sold in December 2011. For the year, BMW used vehicle sales are up 2.1 percent on volume of 164,524 compared to 161,146 in 2011.

MINI Brand Sales

MINI USA reported the best December ever with sales of 6,456 automobiles, an increase of 13.0 percent from the 5,711 sold in December, 2011. This marks the seventh consecutive month of record sales and ninth “best month” of 2012. For the year, MINI sales in the U.S. are up 15.0 percent on volume of 66,123 compared to 57,511 sold in 2011, making 2012 the brand’s best year ever in the U.S.

“We like to say the world is becoming more MINI and the record 2012 sales is the perfect conclusion to our 10th anniversary year in the U.S.,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President, MINI USA. “We are a quick and agile brand with an expanding vehicle portfolio, a growing dealer network and a great year ahead.”