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German Luxury-Car Makers Report Monthly Sales Surge on China

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Daimler AG and Audi AG, the world’s three largest luxury-car makers, said deliveries surged last month on Chinese demand.

Volkswagen AG’s Audi and BMW posted February sales gains of about 20 percent, they said today at the Geneva auto show. Mercedes-Benz’s increase was probably “in the double-digit” range in percentage terms, Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said.

BMW, Mercedes and Audi are hiring thousands of workers as they target record 2011 deliveries. The three German manufacturers are also expanding production to satisfy growing demand from China, the U.S. and Germany.

“Our business looks very robust,” Audi sales chief Peter Schwarzenbauer told reporters today. This will be the best first quarter in the company’s history.

BMW, based in Munich, gained as much as 2.32 euros, or 4 percent, to 61.10 euros and was up 2.3 percent as of 1:06 p.m. in Frankfurt. Daimler, with its headquarters in Stuttgart, gained 1.3 percent and Wolfsburg-based VW’s preferred shares climbed 1.1 percent.

Daimler will recruit more than 10,000 people in 2011 to staff a new Mercedes-Benz car factory in Hungary and expand truck capacity in North America, the company said Feb. 24. Audi plans to add 2,000 employees this year and BMW will hire 1,300.

“We’re off to a fast start and laid a very nice basis” for future growth, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Cornelius Rahn in Geneva via crahn2@bloomberg.net; Andreas Cremer in Geneva via acremer@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong in Berlin at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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