BMW, Daimler See Strong September Sales

Oct. 8, 2010
Auto companies optimistic for Q4 2010

BMW and Daimler, the world's leading luxury car makers, said on Oct. 8 that September sales roared higher, powered by the U.S. and Chinese markets, and added that the outlook for the rest of 2010 was bright too.

Number three Audi had already presented upbeat results on Oct. 7 as manufacturers in the premium car segment in general benefitted from a rebound in the global economy.

BMW said group sales, which include the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, were 16.8% higher than a year earlier at 142,950 vehicles. It said it expected continued growth of at least 10% in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Daimler posted sales of 128,600 Mercedes and Smart autos in September for a 12-month increase of 12.6%.

Audi said a 16% gain took its sales last month to 102,650 vehicles.

"Growth was encouragingly strong in September, with gains on most of our markets," said sales director Ian Robertson as saying.

In the final three months of the year, "we expect to see robust growth in the double-digit percentage range," Robertson added, bringing total 2010 sales to more than 1.4 million vehicles.

Daimler counterpart Joachim Schmidt said he was also optimistic regarding the rest of the year, owing to strong demand from emerging countries like China.

BMW stressed that it pulled ahead of the pack in its domestic market, with a gain in sales of 16.6% while the overall market had lost 17.8%.

Monthly sales were 20.5% higher in the United States, BMW's biggest market, and 89.1% stronger in China, its third largest after Germany.

Looking at the first nine months of the year, BMW reported group sales of 1,062,216 vehicles, Daimler delivered 928,900 autos and Audi was third with 829,300.

Audi, aiming to become the biggest selling luxury car brand by 2015, benefits from the strong presence of its parent company Volkswagen in China.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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