While other parts of the globe struggled in 2012, the U.S. has experienced its best year in auto sales since 2007, with close to 14.5 million light vehicle sales registering over the past 12 months, a 13 percent increase over 2011’s tally of 12.7 million sales.

A significant portion of those sales were luxury models, though despite the overall uptick in the market some players saw their sales decline in 2012. Many, however, saw record numbers.

The BMW Group can lay claim to the 2012 U.S. luxury auto sales crown for the second year in a row, with its sales, including figures for MINI, registering in at 347,583 vehicles for the year. That’s an increase of 13.8 percent compared to the 305,418 vehicles sold in 2011 and it means that BMW has recorded its best ever year of sales in the U.S.

Sales of the BMW brand totaled 281,460 vehicles, up 13.5 percent from the 247,907 sold in 2011.

Mercedes-Benz, which also saw its best year ever for U.S. sales, came in at second, with 305,072 vehicles sold in 2012, representing a 15.4 percent increase over the 264,460 vehicles sold during the same period in 2011. For its numbers, Mercedes-Benz also includes sales of its Sprinter vans and Smart ForTwo range.

Sales of the Mercedes-Benz brand came in at 274,134 vehicles, up 11.8 percent from the previous year.

Perennial leader Lexus, which still struggled with inventory issues at the start of the year, finished 2012 in third position with 244,166 vehicles sold, a 23 percent increase over 2011's tally.

In fourth position was Acura, which registered 156,216 sales for the year, a rise of 26.7 percent on 2011.

While many of the import luxury brands did well, the locals didn’t fare so well.

The luxury division of General Motors Company [NYSE:GM], Cadillac, whose sales dropped 2 percent in 2012, still managed to take fifth spot with 149,782 vehicles sold. Lincoln, meanwhile, saw its sales drop by 4 percent to 82,150 vehicles.

The top selling brand for the overall U.S. market was Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F]. Its sales were up 5 percent to 2,243,009 vehicles, and the most popular model in the country once again was the F-Series pickup, which registered a staggering 645,316 sales.

Below is a list of the top ten luxury auto brands in the U.S. in terms of overall sales, plus the percent change from the preceding year.

1) BMW - 281,460, +13.5 percent (new record)
2) Mercedes-Benz - 274,134, +11.8 percent (new record)
3) Lexus - 244,166, +26.7 percent
4) Acura - 156,216, +26.7 percent
5) Cadillac - 149,782, -2 percent
6) Audi - 139,310, +18.5 percent (new record)
7) Infiniti - 119,877, +21.8
8) Lincoln - 82,150, -4 percent
9) Volvo - 68,117, +1 percent
10) Land Rover - 43,664, +15 percent