BMW-brand deliveries increased 14.3 percent to 146,843 cars and sport-utility vehicles in September, the Munich-based manufacturer said today in a statement. That compares with growth of 13.6 percent to 136,600 deliveries at Audi last month and 2 percent to 123,358 cars and SUVs at Mercedes.
Audi, a unit of Volkswagen AG (VOW), and Stuttgart-based Mercedes each have a goal of overtaking BMW to lead the world’s luxury- car sales by the end of the decade. Audi has narrowed the gap with BMW this year, while growth at third-place Mercedes has lagged behind increases at both competitors.
“Mercedes’s slower growth is down to the product portfolio,” with the company planning vehicle introductions only late in 2012, Christian Ludwig, a Dusseldorf, Germany-based analyst at Bankhaus Lampe, said in a phone interview. “BMW and Audi offer more dynamic models.”
Nine-month sales at the BMW brand increased 8.6 percent to 1.11 million cars and SUVs. Ingolstadt-based Audi reported a 13 percent jump in nine-month deliveries to just under 1.1 million, while Mercedes posted a 5 percent increase to 964,926. BMW’s lead against Audi as of Sept. 30 narrowed to 12,462 vehicles from a 48,801-delivery advantage a year earlier.
BMW’s September sales were propelled by demand for the 1- Series compact, which increased sales by 51 percent to 23,583 cars, the company said. Deliveries of the 6-Series coupe more than tripled to 2,426 cars and the X1 SUV posted 33 percent growth to 16,661 units.
Group sales at BMW, including the Mini small-car brand and the Rolls-Royce ultra-luxury marque, rose 12 percent to 177,716 vehicles in September, propelled by a 59 percent surge in China. The company’s European sales increased 4.8 percent, with combined BMW and Mini deliveries gaining 9.3 percent in Germany, the manufacturer said.
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