BMW China car sales up 31 percent in April image

BMW AG (BMWG.DE), the world’s largest luxury carmaker said Monday that sales in China rose 31 percent year-on-year in April to 27,197 units. In addition the German carmaker said sales worldwide rose 11 percent to 425,528 vehicles.

BMW brand January-to-April sales at 100,300 cars, up 35%.

“As long as China keeps going, BMW keeps going,” wrote Bernstein analyst Max Warburton, in a research note on Thursday.

China helped BMW’s core passenger car business post a quarterly operating margin of 11.6 percent, close to the average for last year and well above management’s forecast for close to 10 percent in 2012.

BMW’s workforce grew by 5.4 percent over the past year and it employed 101,260 people at the end of the quarter.

Part of the increase came from the acquisition of the ICL Group car leasing unit, but the company said that “skilled workers and engineers continue to be recruited in order to keep pace with persistently strong demand for BMW Group vehicles, to push innovations and to focus on the development of new technologies.”