BMW remains world’s largest premium carmaker thanks to growth in China image

BMW brand sales rose 14.3 percent to 146,843 in September thanks to booming demand from China.

Sales in the world’s largest market helped BMW maintain a sales lead over competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

In the first nine months of the year, BMW brand sales rose 8.6 percent to 1.11 million vehicles compared with deliveries of 1.10 million at Audi (+12.8 percent). Third-quarter sales at Mercedes-Benz rose 5 percent to 964,926 units. September sales at Audi rose 13.6 percent to 136,600, while Mercedes deliveries rose 2 percent to 123,358.

Overall sales of BMW Group vehicles including the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands increased 8.3 percent in the first nine months to 1.33 million units. In September, the group sold 177,716 vehicles, a rise of 11.6 percent and also a record for the month.

Sales of the compact BMW 1 Series increased significantly in September, with global deliveries rising 51.1 percent to 25,583 units. Demand for the new-generation BMW 3 series also rose 9.7 percent to 39,302 units, BMW announced.

The group’s Mini brand sold 30,562 cars last month, up 0.6 percent over last year’s figures. In the first nine months of the year, deliveries rose by 7.2 percent to 223,214 units. Sales of the super-luxury brand Rolls-Royce rose 4.7 percent in the first nine months of 2012.

China remains BMW Group’s single-largest market, with sales totaling 29,631 units last month (+59.4 percent). The U.S. is BMW’s No. 2 market, with sales of 26,660 units in September (+3.5 percent). BMW sales in Germany rose 9.3 percent to 26,021 units, while overall sales in Europe rose 4.8 percent to 92,442.