BMW Keeps Luxury-Car Sales Lead in September on 1-Series

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) retained its global lead among luxury carmakers as sales growth last month outpaced gains at German rivals Audi AG (NSU) and Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz brand.

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.”

BMW rose as much as 1.1 percent to 60.73 euros and was trading up 0.5 percent at 10:58 a.m. in Frankfurt. Volkswagen gained 0.9 percent to 146.70 euros. Daimler declined 0.4 percent to 38.14 euros.

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.

6-Series Surge

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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dorothee Tschampa in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at

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