Lexus was the best-selling luxury brand in the US for the second consecutive year in 2001 while Mercedes-Benz claimed the best year for sales to date. Porsche set records for sales of its mainstay 911 range.

As US domestic and import nameplates began rolling out year-end and December sales totals yesterday, Lexus, based at Toyota Motor Sales‘ home base in Torrance, California, boasted sales of 223,983 units, up 8.7 percent over last year’s record-breaking total and ahead of former leaders Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz.

“Earning the best-selling crown for the year wasn’t our goal,” said Lexus group vice president and general manager Denny Clements but it’s the result of focusing on providing high-quality cars and top-notch customer service.”

Lexus reported a best-ever month in December with 22,203 vehicles sold. The RX 300 SUV was the brand’s top-selling vehicle with 77,426 sold.

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) reported also reported a ‘best year on record’ with sales of 206,638 in 2001.

The largest increase for the year came with the popular C-Class family and the top-of-the-line CL-Class which increased 48 percent and 70 percent respectively. A significant portion of the 2001 volume came from the C-Class with the debuts of the coupe and wagon models. The C-Class recorded its highest year with 51,210 vehicles sold compared with 34,600 in 2000.

Porsche Cars North America, Inc., (PCNA) claimed December sales of 1,744 cars, an increase of 17 percent over the same period last year.

Sales for 2001 were up three percent over 2000, at 23,041.