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BMW continues to lead global luxury car market, Audi topples Mercedes Benz from second spot

BMW, the German automakers have announced that March sales were among the highest sales ever achieved globally for a calendar month. Get the training you need for a lucrative career in marketing cars with these online college classes. During the month of March, the company sales went up by 12% as 185,728 vehicles were delivered across the globe. During the first quarter of this year, the BMW Group sold 425,528 vehicles and received a profit of 11.2%.

BMW 1 Series and 3 Series take the most credit for this record sales coupled with healthy strategy and balanced growth the world over. To add to their lineup and bring in more high performance vehicles, BMW will be bringing in new models during the year which will include BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and revised BMW 7 Series. The company is currently concentrating on sales in China as the country took over even the United States where sales in the first quarter of this year were concerned.

Mr Ian Robertson, Sales Chief BMW, said, “These outstanding results are due to our attractive, young model range and our strategy of healthy, balanced growth across the globe. We aim to continue the momentum with additional new models this year, such as the luxurious BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé and a model revision of the flagship BMW 7 Series.”

On the other had, for the first time in their 102 year old history, Audi has grabbed the second spot in the global luxury car industry by toppling Mercedes Benz. It is also the first time that Audi has beaten Mercedes Benz in terms of car sales. Audi sold 346,100 luxury cars while Mercedes Benz sold 313, 902 luxury cars in Q1 2012. Comparing these numbers with BMW luxury car sales figures, Audi sold approximately 10,000 units lesser.

BMW Press Release

BMW Group Sales Reach All-Time High in March

Deliveries increase by 12% to 185,728 vehicles in March

Best ever first quarter with 425,528 units sold

Record sales in first quarter for all three brands

The BMW Group sold more vehicles in March than in any other month in its history. The company sold a total of 185.728 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles in the past month, not only significantly exceeding the figure for March of last year (165,846 units / +12%) but also the previous sales high of 165,855 vehicles recorded in June 2011. The company also achieved a new high for the first three months: Retail volumes for the year to the end of March increased by more than 40,000 vehicles to 425,528 units (prev. yr. 382,763 units), which represents a growth of 11.2% compared with the first quarter of 2011.

Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management, Sales and Marketing BMW: “The BMW Group achieved an all-time high in sales last month and the best first quarter in its history. These outstanding results are due to our attractive, young model range and our strategy of healthy, balanced growth across the globe. We aim to continue the momentum with additional new models this year, such as the luxurious BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé and a model revision of the flagship BMW 7 Series.”

The company plans to grow faster than the market as a whole in 2012 and expects to achieve new sales volume records for its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands.

BMW: Sales reach record high in March

With sales of 153,004 vehicles (prev. yr.: 134,895 / +13.4%), more BMW brand vehicles were sold in a single month than ever before. Sales for the year to the end of March reached a record 356,548 vehicles (prev. yr. 321,180), an increase of 11.0% over the first three months of last year. All models performed well in March, including an excellent start for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan with 29,004 vehicles delivered (prev. yr. 24,331 / +19.2%). Strong gains were achieved by the BMW 1 Series 5-door Hatch with sales climbing +40.8% to 18,598 vehicles (prev. yr. 13,210) as well as for the BMW X3, with a +59.4% growth in sales and 14,847 vehicles delivered (prev. yr. 9,316). Growth in March was also driven by the brand’s larger vehicles. Sales of the BMW X5 and X6 models continued to be strong with 9,496 (prev. yr. 7,932 / +19.7%) and 4,261 (prev. yr. 3,971 / +7.3%) vehicles sold respectively.

Sales of the BMW 6 Series increased nearly six fold compared to the same month last year with a total of 2,247 vehicles delivered to customers (prev. yr. 405 / +454.8%). The current BMW 7 Series reached a new milestone in March with a total of over 200,000 vehicles sold since its introduction at the end of 2008. This makes it the best performing BMW 7 Series ever, reaching around +20% higher sales than its predecessors in the same period of time. With 6,648 vehicles delivered in March, the flagship model achieved a 14.5% increase in sales (prev. yr. 5,804).

MINI brand: The success story continues

A total of 32,421 MINI brand vehicles were delivered worldwide to customers in March (prev. yr. 30,690 / +5.6%) and 68,210 (prev. yr. 60,860) vehicles were sold in the first quarter of 2012. This represents a sales increase of 12.1% compared with the first three months of last year and a new record in first quarter sales for the brand. Continued strong demand for the MINI Countryman contributed to the brand’s positive performance in the first three months. With 22,001 vehicles delivered, sales climbed +36.8% over the same period last year (prev. yr. 16.079).

Rolls-Royce: Record sales in first quarter

Rolls-Royce continued its success with a record first quarter in sales. For the year to the end of March, the number of Rolls-Royce motor cars delivered climbed 6.5% to 770 (prev. yr. 723) vehicles.

Motorcycles: Best first quarter ever

BMW Motorcycles exceeded the previous year’s figures in the first three months of the year, thus achieving the best first quarter result in its history. Sales rose +5.5% to 24,373 vehicles (prev. yr. 23,109). A total of 12,295 BMW motorcycles were delivered in March 2012 – an increase of 5.3% (prev. yr. 11,675). Husqvarna delivered 1,182 (prev. yr. 676 / +74.9%) motorcycles last month to its dealer network. Year to date, deliveries grew +36.2% to 2,642 motorcycles compared with the first three months of 2011 (prev. yr. 1,940).

Record first quarters in the U.S. and China; strong March in Germany

The BMW Group increased retail volumes in its three largest single markets of Germany, the U.S. and China, among others. In Germany the company reported a +11.6% increase (30,981 / prev. yr. 27,755) for BMW Group vehicle registrations in March. A total of 66,222 vehicles have been registered year-to-date in Germany, an increase of +2.0% over the first quarter in 2011 (prev. yr. 64,923). Record first quarters in both the U.S. and China contributed to the BMW Group’s outstanding first quarter sales results. In the U.S., sales climbed +13% in March to 29,806 vehicles (prev. yr. 26,382). Year to date, 75,729 vehicles have been delivered in the U.S., an increase of +16.6% over the previous year (64,957). BMW Group sales in China remained high in the month under review – 30,593 (prev. yr. 21,687 /+41.1%) vehicles were delivered. From January to the end of March a total of 80,014 vehicles were delivered, an increase of 36.8% compared with the same period last year (prev. yr. 58,506).

BMW Group sales in/up to March 2012 at a glance

Compared Compared to to In March previous Up to/incl. previous 2012 year March 2012 year BMW Group Automobiles 185,728 +12.0% 425,528 +11.2% BMW 153,004 +13.4% 356,548 +11.0% MINI 32,421 +5.6% 68,210 +12.1% Rolls-Royce Motor Cars 770 +6.5% BMW Motorcycles 12,295 +5.3% 24,373 +5.5% Husqvarna Motorcycles 1,182 +74.9% 2,642 +36.2%

Audi Press Release

More than 346,000 vehicles sold – AUDI AG achieves best quarter in company history

AUDI AG is maintaining its growth course. Thanks to some 346,100 vehicles delivered – an increase of 10.8 percent – this past quarter was the best in company history. This strong start to the year was due in part to March figures: around 143,500 units delivered and a 14.1 percent rise in sales.

Audi had never sold so many vehicles in a single month. Growth from January through March was fueled in particular by customers in the USA and China, where Audi achieved record sales, as well. The company likewise registered growth in Eastern Europe and in its domestic German market.

“We kicked off 2012 very successfully and expect growth to continue in the months to come,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. “Our new A3 will be rolled out from the second half of this year, and we have just introduced the new-generation A6L in China.” The luxury sedan’s long-wheelbase version leads its segment in China.

Audi just completed the best quarter ever in China – the company achieved growth of 40.5 percent by selling 25,941 more new Audi models to Chinese customers than in the first quarter of 2011. Of the 31,505 vehicles delivered in March (+37 percent), the largest share was achieved by the locally produced A4L, A6L and Q5 models. 4,674 more people purchased the Audi SUV (+139.9 percent), compared to March 2011. Moreover, China remains the most important market for the Audi A8, accounting for over 40 percent of global sales of this luxury sedan.

Luxury-class models are giving the four rings an ongoing boost in the USA, too. Almost twice as many customers took delivery of an A6 during the first three months of 2012 than in the prior-year period (+87.3 percent to 3,581 units). All in all, Audi sold 29,470 automobiles in the first quarter, achieving growth of 16.1 percent – also a company record in the United States. Sales rose by a double-digit figure once again in March, by 18 percent to 11,585 vehicles. Also, there was double-digit sales growth in other key markets in the Americas. For example, first-quarter sales rose by 23.3 percent in Canada, 37.3 percent in Brazil and 49.3 percent in Argentina.

The automobile manufacturer also improved its upward trend in Germany. Audi sold 25,140 units last month for an increase of 4.8 percent. Overall growth for the first three months of 2012 amounted to 3 percent, as 57,976 Audi models were sold in Germany. The A6 family played a key role, as German customers took delivery of 12,448 A6 units in the first quarter (+74 percent). The Avant remains especially popular in Germany, and the latest generation is no exception. Some two-thirds of A6 customers opted for this version.

The trend for Europe as a whole is upward for the Ingolstadt-based company, too. Although Audi concluded the first quarter with a slight drop in sales of 0.1 percent, the company’s growth rates have increased in each consecutive month, with growth in March of 7 percent. This was due especially to rates of growth in three key countries. March sales rose in the United Kingdom by 8.6 percent to 23,062 units and in France by 5.4 percent to 6,219 units. Growth proved especially robust in Russia, where Audi boosted March sales by 99.9 percent to 3,404 units. Sales were particularly impressive for the new generation of the A5 family, the SUV models and the new A6.

Growth markets such as India and South Korea also made important contributions to the quarterly sales record. Audi sales in India rose by 40.8 percent to 2,269 vehicles sold during the first quarter. The company also registered year-on-year growth of 41.7 percent in South Korea by selling 3,365 units.

Mercedes Benz Press Release

Mercedes-Benz Records Strongest Monthly Sales in the Company’s History in March

Dr. Joachim Schmidt:“Following up on our record sales last year, we are also off to a highly successful start in 2012. To date we have recorded a new sales record in every month of this year and with 313,902 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars sold, we have set a new high for the first quarter. March was even the strongest sales month of the company’s history.”

“Besides our excellent start to the year it is especially the great customer response on the new models which makes me very confident that we will achieve our goal to post a new sales record in 2012.”

Record sales in the first quarter; outstanding development among others in Germany, Western Europe, USA, and China

Mercedes-Benz gains market shares in numerous markets

smart with dynamic development since beginning of the year

Stuttgart – With its best monthly sales in the company’s history and the third record month in 2012, Mercedes-Benz has recorded the strongest first-quarter result ever. In March, sales rose by 11.0% to 131,334 units. Thus, since the start of the year, a total of 313,902 vehicles were delivered to customers, an increase of 11.9%. Moreover, the Stuttgart based car manufacturer managed to gain market shares in numerous markets.

In its Mercedes-Benz Cars division, the company sold as many vehicles as never before in a month and also set a new sales record in the first quarter. A total of 340,877 Mercedes-Benz, smart, and Maybach vehicles (+11.6%) were delivered, including 142,278 units (+9.8%) sold in March alone.

Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes?Benz Cars: “Following up on our record sales last year, we are also off to a highly successful start in 2012. To date we have recorded a new sales record in every month of this year and with 313,902 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars sold, we have set a new high for the first quarter. March was even the strongest sales month of the company’s history. Besides our excellent start to the year it is especially the great customer response on the new models which makes me very confident that we will achieve our goal to post a new sales record in 2012. With the start of production of the new B-Class in Kecskemét last week, we will have even more vehicles available to better meet the high demand.”

The first quarter saw strong sales among others in the SUV segment. Dr. Schmidt continued: “Driven by the new M-Class, SUV sales developed excellently in the first quarter as they already did in full-year 2011. Tomorrow for the first time we will present the completely new GL and the new generation of the GLK at New York International Auto Show. With our SUV offensive we will extend sales further in this segment.” Besides the GLK and GL also the SL 65 AMG has its world premiere at the auto show in New York.

In the whole NAFTA region deliveries have been very satisfying in the first quarter (70,259 units, +15.5%). In the first three months of the year, Mercedes-Benz set a new sales record in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Particularly noteworthy was the dynamic development in the U.S., where sales rose by 15.3% (61,513 units). Also in the month of March, the company achieved another sales record in the U.S.: 23,134 vehicles were delivered to customers (+7.7%).

The development of the Mercedes-Benz brand also had a successful first quarter in China (incl. Hong Kong). 51,328 customers (+19.5%) purchased a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle from January to March, setting a new sales record for this period. Record sales were also registered there in March (17,660 units, +16.1%).

In Russia and India, Mercedes-Benz also recorded its highest-ever sales for the first quarter and for the month of March. Since the beginning of the year, sales have climbed by 32.7% in Russia, and 6.9% in India. Sales development of Mercedes-Benz has been especially successful in Japan, where first-quarter sales grew by 44.0% compared to the same period last year.

In the first three months of 2012, Mercedes-Benz has enjoyed outstanding sales in Germany, with 56,552 units sold since the beginning of the year, an increase of 14.6%. Also in March, Mercedes-Benz successfully sustained its position on its homemarket with a growth rate of 10.5%, handing over a total of 25,932 vehicles. Thus, Mercedes-Benz is again the top-selling premium brand in the month of March as well as in the first quarter. Sales in the rest of the region of Western Europe also developed strongly in March and in the first quarter. From January to March the brand with the star increased its sales on the declining total market by 6.7% (78,135 units). During this period, demand for Mercedes-Benz was especially high in Switzerland (+37.3%), France (+29.0%), and Great Britain (+9.6%). In Great Britain as well as in Switzerland Mercedes-Benz posted new sales records in the first quarter.

Sales of Mercedes-Benz models have developed very dynamically since the start of the year, above all the models of the C-Class segment. Despite new competitors, sales rose by 27.0% to 99,660 units. The S-Class sedan also continues to enjoy strong demand. Since January, sales of the brand’s flagship rose by over a quarter (+27.5%, 21,507 units) compared to the previous year. The new B-Class received again excellent customer response, with more than 35,000 units sold since it was launched to the market in November. In the year of the introduction of its successor, the A-Class increased its sales by 17.0% (20,772 units) in the first quarter. The E-Class sedan and estate also continue to be popular, with a total of 57,980 units (+3.4%) delivered to customers. Mercedes-Benz SUVs were in continued demand with sales of 59,116 vehicles, which set yet another record, topping last year’s high for the same period. The greatest contributors to this success were the M-Class (+19.0%), the G-Class (+39.4%), posting a new sales record, and the GL-Class, whose sales put on by 9.9% shortly before the introduction of its successor.

The smart fortwo also joined in the success of the Mercedes-Benz models in the first quarter. Sales totaled 26,975 units, topping the previous year’s sales by 8.0%. Especially in China (incl. Hong Kong) demand for the innovative two-seater continues to be persistently high. The number of vehicles delivered since January has doubled (4,795 units, +105.1%), setting a new sales record. First-quarter sales of the smart fortwo were equally dynamic in the U.S. (+78.7%).

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About the author

Sagar Patel

Sagar Patel

A first drive in a manual rickety old van was enough to pave the road forward for Sagar Patel. When not driving or riding, his dexterity shifts gear to voice passion through words via reviews, and news, all the while, closely monitoring updates from the auto industry.

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