Global Sales: BMW stays ahead of rivals Audi, Mercedes

September sales are out and BMW stays on course to remain the world’s top-selling premium automaker. Last month, the Munich-based automaker reported sales of 128,446 units, a 9.3 percent increase over the same month last year.

Audi continues to challenge BMW as the top premium automaker with an increase of 17 percent or 120,200 units sold globally. Even though Mercedes-Benz showed a small increase, 2 percent, the company retains the second spot with 120,982 units.

“At the end of the third quarter we find ourselves well on course to deliver our target of more than 1.6 million vehicles in 2011 and to remain the clear number one among premium manufacturers once again this year,” BMW’s head of sales Ian Robertson said in a statement Monday.

Overall sales of BMW Group vehicles including the MINI and Rolls-Royce brands grew 16 percent in the first nine months of the year to 1.23 million units. In September, the group sold 159,214 vehicles, a rise of 11.4 percent.

The top selling BMWs were the new X3 and 5 Series, as well as the entry-level X1 SAV, a vehicle that remains in high demand leading to further delays for the US market. In September, BMW sold 11,345 X3s, a 260.6 percent over the same month in 2010. Due to its high demand in Germany, the X1 sales rose 24.7 percent to 12,535 units. The 5 Series continues to be one of the core models for BMW and the sales come to prove that: 27,811 cars sold in September, 29.7 percent increase.

Another success story comes from MINI and its Countryman vehicle: 76,000 units sold since the introduction to market a year ago.

The ultra-luxurious Rolls Royce also reports impressive numbers, 41 percent increase in 2011 with 2,441 units delivered to customers this year.

Audi is targeting sales of 1.3 million cars this year and by 2015, the company aims to become the world’s top-selling premium automaker. Year-to-date, Audi sold 973,200 units, 17.4 percent increase over 2010.

Sales of the Mercedes brand reached 919,288 units in the first nine months of the year, a rise of 7.6 percent.

Mercedes said last month that sales of its Mercedes and Smart brands will probably surpass 1.35 million in 2010, compared with an earlier forecast of 1.3 million.

This year, the race between the three automakers will once again come to a photo finish.

[Source: AutoNews ]


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