Audi, BMW and Daimler unveiled contrastingly weak sales figures on June 8 as relatively good news was reported for German industry in general.
BMW said sales of its brands, which include Mini and Rolls-Royce, shed 18.3% in May on a 12-month basis, a figure that was nonetheless better than April's drop of 24%.
Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division said May sales were off by 12.4%, but that was almost half the loss of nearly 24% reported in April.
Audi limited its losses to 6.1% in May compared with the same month a year earlier.
Volkswagen's high-end auto brand continued to fare better than its rivals, but the result was still a deterioration from Audi's fall of 5.6% in April.
For the first five months of 2009, BMW delivered 487,906 vehicles, or 21.1 % fewer than in the same period of 2008.
Mercedes-Benz sold 433,100 cars, which was also a drop of 21.1%.
Audi sold 374,350 cars, for a more modest decline of 12.1%.
"I am globally optimistic concerning an improvement in our sales throughout the year," BMW sales director Ian Robertson was quoted by a statement as saying.
Audi counterpart Peter Schwarzenbauer added that his company noted interest in core A3, A4 and A5 models equipped with four and six-cylinder engines.
Meanwhile, the German economy ministry revised its figure for March industrial orders higher to a rise of 3.7%, the first increase in six months, and added that April orders had stayed at the same level.
The figures demonstrated a "noticeable improvement in the medium-term perspective" for German industries, according to a ministry statement.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009