Frankfurt - BMW, the world's largest premium carmaker by
volume, confirmed on Wednesday it enjoyed the highest ever first-quarter demand
on the back of March sales that broke all previous records, as its three largest
markets posted double-digit growth.
Group sales increased by 12% last month to 185 728 vehicles,
bringing the cumulative tally so far this year to 425 528 vehicles for an
overall gain of 11.2%.
BMW said March sales eclipsed the previous monthly record
from last June, thanks to strong showings for its 1 Series volume model and a
good start for the revamped 3 Series.
"These outstanding results are due to our attractive,
young model range and our strategy of healthy, balanced growth across the
globe," said BMW sales chief Ian Robertson.
"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," he said.
BMW reaffirmed its plans to grow faster than the market and
achieve new record sales for its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands.
China overtook the United States as the group's largest
single market in the first quarter, cementing its place as the biggest driver
of growth for the premium car industry.
Last week, BMW's Robertson told reporters at the New York
auto show that the company enjoyed all-time high sales in the first quarter
with over 400 000 vehicles delivered to customers.
The BMW brand held off rival Audi in their neck-on-neck race
for the top spot in the industry. On Tuesday it said it sold 346 100 Audis in
the first quarter, only about 10 000 fewer than the BMW brand.
Mercedes-Benz followed far behind with just 313 902 vehicles
sold in the first three months.