Last year was a banner year for the German luxury brands in the U.S., with Mercedes-Benz fighting a close battle with BMW to finish second by 7,000 vehicles.

Despite the rivalry seen in last year's sales race, Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche has already bowed out for 2013--even though Mercedes is currently leading half-year sales by just over 1,500 vehicles, reports Bloomberg. Zetsche said he doesn't expect Mercedes to lead the numbers at the end of the year, "and that's OK."

Mercedes' loss in 2012 may not have been a loss at all. Based on vehicle registration data from R.L. Polk, about 5,000 more Mercedes-Benzes than BMWs were newly registered in 2012.

Perhaps referencing that fact, Zetsche seemed to dismiss the desire to win the annual sales tally, telling Bloomberg, "We won't play any games. I'm not sure that applies to our competition."