BMW benefits from demand in China to break its sales record

GERMAN car maker BMW increased sales of its luxury-brand vehicles by four per cent in March to 159,195 cars, its single highest monthly sales tally ever, figures out yesterday showed.

BMW brand deliveries rose seven per cent in the first quarter to a record 381,404 vehicles, powered by “solid” gains in the United States and China, the Munich-based company said in a statement yesterday.

By comparison, luxury rival Audi maintained its lead over Mercedes-Benz, boosting first-quarter sales 6.8 per cent to a record 369,500 vehicles, the VW-owned brand said on Monday.

That compares with a 3.5 per cent gain at Daimler's flagship division to 324,898 cars.

Audi’s quarterly deliveries in China surged 14.2 per cent to 102,810 vehicles while Mercedes slumped by almost the same margin, or 11.5 per cent, to 45,440.

High-end car companies have enjoyed a bumper 12 months as soaring sales in China and other fast-growing nations have boosted turnover in spite of a downbeat outlook in Europe.

New car registrations across Europe fell more than 10 per cent on a year ago to 795,482 in February, according to figures from the Association of Constructors of European Automobiles published last month.

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April 22, 2014, 2:25pm