FRANKFURT -- BMW brand topped rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz, selling 121,168 cars worldwide in May, a rise of 19 percent over 2010 figures, the company said on Wednesday.
Audi sold 113,400 cars last month, a 19.5 percent increase on the year before, ahead of Mercedes-Benz, whose May sales grew 7.3 percent to 108,766 units.
BMW brand's global deliveries, boosted by sales of the new 5-series sedan and X3 SUV, rose 19.2 percent to 555,429 units in the first five months of the year, ahead of Audi's 17.5 percent rise to 535,400 cars. Mercedes' sales grew 10.5 percent to 490,021 through five months of 2011.
"This was the most successful May the company has ever reported in sales. Our young vehicle portfolio continues to perform strongly and we are seeing healthy balanced growth worldwide,'' Ian Robertson, BMW board member for sales and marketing, said in a statement Wednesday.
In total, BMW Group, including the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, sold 147,563 units in May, a rise of 21.1 percent. Between January and May, the brands sales were 667,511, a rise of 20.7 percent.
Luxury carmakers have achieved huge sales gain in China thanks to the country's growing population of super-rich. But China's car market is expected to cool this year after surging by a third to a record high in 2010.
May sales in China of BMW Group vehicles jumped 51.1 percent to 21,150 vehicles.
In the United States, sales were up 19.7 percent to 26,452 units and at home in Germany, the BMW Group sold 29,372 cars, a rise of 27.7 percent.
Audi's May sales in China grew 44.6 percent to 25,153 vehicles, while Mercedes sold 16,401 cars in the same period, a rise of 43.1 percent from the year before.
Global sales of BMW Group's Mini brand rose by 38.5 percent in May to 26,104. In the first five months of the year, the brand sold 110,802 cars, a rise of 28.7 percent.