Earlier this week we reported that Audi had overtaken Mercedes-Benz in sales for the first time ever but when it comes to the best selling luxury automaker in the world, BMW remains on top.

While Mercedes-Benz finished the first quarter of the year with 248,500 sales and Audi with 264,100, BMW came out on top with 265,809 sales in the quarter, an increase of 14 percent over the same period last year.

The positive outcome was the result of strong demand in the U.S. for the recently launched X1 compact crossover and 7-Series sedan. Throw in the fact that the all-new 2011 BMW 5-Series sedan is set to go on sale next month and things are starting to look very rosy for German automaker.

Last year, BMW finished the global sales race in the lead, followed by Mercedes-Benz in second and Audi in third. Here in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz remains on top, with Lexus coming in second followed by BMW and Audi.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]