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BMW Posts 20% Sales Gain, Outpacing Audi, Mercedes

BMW Posts 20% Sales Gain, Outpacing Audi
The Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) company logo sits on the hood of a BMW LS automobile. Photographer: Guenter Schiffmann/Bloomberg

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, outpaced sales growth at competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz last month as the revamped 5-Series sedan and new X1 sport-utility vehicle attracted buyers.

Deliveries of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce models rose 20 percent from a year earlier to 129,014 vehicles in November, the Munich-based automaker said today in a statement. Sales by Volkswagen AG’s Audi division increased 5.2 percent to 87,050 vehicles, the Ingolstadt, Germany-based unit said today. Deliveries by Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz Cars, including the Smart city-car brand, jumped 14 percent to 112,300.

Growth in China and a rebound in the U.S. are propelling a recovery in luxury-car demand following the global recession. The 5-Series, X1 and new Mini Countryman have given BMW extra momentum. The November sales increase, BMW’s biggest monthly gain this year, lifted 11-month deliveries to 1.32 million vehicles, a gain of 14 percent.

“At BMW, you can clearly see the strong success of the new products,” said Marc-Rene Tonn, an analyst at M.M. Warburg in Hamburg who recommends buying the stock. “That will continue with the new 6-Series next year, followed up later by the 1-Series.”

BMW fell 3.3 percent to 61.90 euros as of the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Frankfurt, paring the stock’s gain this year to 95 percent. Volkswagen’s preferred stock fell 5.6 percent to 129.25 euros, while Daimler slipped 1.6 percent to 53.26 euros.

Audi Beats Record

Audi, which aims to overtake BMW as the luxury-auto sales leader by 2015, said its deliveries in the 11 months through November surpassed the full-year sales record set in 2008, with more than 1 million vehicles sold.

The pace of growth slowed last month after “super” performance a year earlier, when Audi received a boost from the German government’s car-scrapping sales incentives, said Esther Bahne, a spokeswoman. The brand would have reported a decline in deliveries last month without the roughly 7,500 A1 cars that customers bought in November, she said. The subcompact was introduced in September.

5-Series Sales Jump

BMW’s revamp of the 5-Series boosted deliveries of the sedan by 87 percent to 20,702 cars. BMW sold 9,160 X1s, topping 100,000 deliveries for the SUV since it was introduced in October 2009. The Mini brand sold 4,165 units of the Countryman, which went on sale in September as the division’s first four-door model. The model accounted for 20 percent of Mini sales last month, BMW said.

The BMW brand defended its lead this year with 11-month sales rising 15 percent to 1.11 million vehicles. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand increased sales 16 percent to 1.06 million vehicles in the period, while Audi deliveries climbed 15 percent to 1,003,900 cars and SUVs.

“BMW is well on its way to reaching its target of more than 1.4 million units this year,” Ian Robertson, the manufacturer’s sales chief, said in the statement.

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