Think the only challengers for the title of best-selling luxury brand hail from der Vaterland? Wrong. Lexus outsold the likes of Mercedes-Benz for the second time in 2014 last month. In fact, the Japanese luxury marque's total sales this year are a mere 12,000 units behind BMW.

Lexus was able to move 26,921 vehicles last month, a year-over-year increase of 21.1 percent, respectively. Mercedes, meanwhile, was just barely beaten, moving 26,617 units in April. The difference, though, is that Lexus has made far bigger year-over-year gains than Mercedes, which recorded a YOY increase of just 4.13 percent.

This is particularly troubling for the Germans, as it marks a return to form for Lexus that we haven't seen since before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that decimated Japan. Prior to that natural disaster, Lexus enjoyed nearly a dozen years at the top of the luxury heap.

What's most interesting, though, is that Lexus has made these strides against Mercedes without moving down market. The German brand has seen a great deal of success with its CLA, a vehicle that Lexus has no real challenger for. But with the Japanese brand bringing both the RC coupe and the NX compact crossover, it's a safe bet that, pending any other natural disasters, Lexus will continue the success of early 2014.


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