Strong September helps BMW maintain sales lead over Audi, Mercedes
FRANKFURT -- BMW increased vehicle sales at its flagship BMW brand by 14.3 percent to 146,843 in September thanks to strong demand in China, the United States and Europe.
The growth helped BMW to maintain its sales lead over premium competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
BMW group sales for the month, including the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, were up 11.6 percent to 177,716 compared with September 2011. Mini sales rose just over half a percent to 30,562. BMW did not give a number for Rolls-Royce but said deliveries were down slightly.
"We expect to see further healthy growth in worldwide sales in the fourth quarter," BMW brand sales chief Ian Robertson said in a statement on Tuesday, adding the group was "well on course" to achieving a new sales record for the full year.
On Monday, Audi said its global vehicle sales increased by 13.6 percent to 136,600 in September. Last week, Daimler said worldwide sales for Mercedes brand cars rose 2 percent to 123,358.
BMW said September sales of the BMW 1 series were particularly strong. Global deliveries rose 51.1 percent to 25,583, while demand for the new-generation BMW 3 series, which was launched in February, rose 9.7 percent to 39,302.
China, U.S., European growth
BMW Group sales in China, the automaker's single largest market, jumped 59.4 percent last month to 29,631. In the United States, the company's No. 2 market, sales increased by 3.5 percent to 26,660.
European volume rose 4.8 percent to 92,442 with deliveries up 9.3 percent to 26,021 in Germany, BMW's third-biggest market.
BMW is on course to remain the top-selling premium brand for 2012. BMW brand's nine-month sales are up 8.6 percent to 1.11 million. Audi's sales for the same period rose 12.8 percent to 1.10 million while Mercedes brand's volume is up 5 percent at 964,926.
BMW Group sales for the first nine months, including the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, grew 8.3 percent to 1.33 million. Mini sales increased 7.2 percent to 223,214. Rolls-Royce sales are down 4.7 percent but BMW expects seasonally strong fourth-quarter sales will boost the brand's annual volume.
Reuters contributed to this report