BMW extends sales lead over German rivals as demand rises

 
City A.M. Reporter
BMW’S sales rose faster in June than at rivals Audi and Mercedes, it said yesterday, as demand from China and the US helped the German luxury car maker to extend a lead over its two main rivals in the first six months of the year.

Sales at BMW’s core brand were up 9.4 per cent in June to 153,000 autos, the Munich-based company said, compared with growth of 8.3 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively at Mercedes and Volkswagen-owned Audi.

Six-month sales at BMW rose 7.7 per cent to 804,000 cars, expanding the lead over runner-up Audi to 24,000 from 11,000 after five months. Half-year sales at Audi and Mercedes rose 6.4 per cent each to 780,500 and 694,000 autos respectively.

“BMW has stronger momentum than Audi and Mercedes, that won’t change in the second half,” said Hanover-based NordLB analyst Frank Schwope. “Design of their cars has improved and they’re ahead on fuel-saving technologies.”

In contrast to capacity cutbacks at European mass-market carmakers, Germany’s three leading premium manufacturers are maintaining production in July and August to meet demand for upscale vehicles from overseas.