German auto major BMW has regained top slot in January-November period after a fierce battle for numbers with compatriot Mercedes Benz in the Indian luxury car market, inching closer to be the leader in 2010.

According to the latest Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) figures, BMW has made a strong comeback and sold 5,345 units compared to 5,109 units sold by Mercedes Benz during the last 11 months of this year.  

BMW posted a jump of 60.17% during the period over 3,337 units sold in the corresponding period last year. Mercedes Benz's sales soared by 75.27% compared to 2,915 units sold in the year-ago period, SIAM said.

In 2009, BMW emerged as the top luxury car maker in India with a jump of 33.78% at 3,619 units. It had sold 2,705 units in 2008. Mercedes Benz, on the other hand, had sold 3,247 units in 2009 against 3,625 units in 2008, a decline of 10.42%.

Industry experts believe that only a month left at the end of the year, is unlikely to spring any Mercedes Benz surprise. The company, which once dominated the luxury car market in India is destined to become the number one most. The market is expected to exceed 15,000 units this year.

Last Week, when asked if the company is market leader in the segment this year,  Mercedes-Benz India managing director and CEO Wilfried Aulbur said, We focus on being number one. We focus on profitable growth we invest heavily in customer relationship.

Another German company, Audi is also gradually increasing its strength in the segment, sales of 2,803 units in January-November period, against 1645 units in the corresponding period last year, registering a growth of 70.40%.

Another German firm, Audi is also gradually increasing its strength in the segment, selling 2,803 units in the January-November period, as against 1,645 units in the comparable period last year, clocking growth of 70.40%.

BMW has an assembly facility at Chennai and had recently hiked its production capacity to 5,400 units per year on a single shift basis from 3,000 units earlier. It will further invest Rs 70 crore by 2012 to add more capacity.

Mercedes Benz has a plant in Chakan in Maharashtra. The company has just started second shift operation to produce 10,000 units per year with an annual production of 5,000 units above. He spent Rs 200 crore to build a paint shop at the plant during the next 18 months.