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Old 09-10-2007, 01:00 PM
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Arrow BMW races ahead of Audi

FRANKFURT: Powered by a rejuvenated model line including the X5 offroader and Mini, BMW easily outsold rival Audi and outgrew Mercedes in August, reinforcing its position as the world's largest premium carmaker.

Deliveries of BMW brand vehicles rose 11.1 per cent last month to 85,003 units, further widening the distance between it and Volkswagen's premium marque Audi, which mustered growth of 4.2pc to 66,400 vehicles during the same period.

DaimlerChrysler later reported Mercedes-Benz sales of 89,100 units in August thanks to a resurgent C-Class saloon, representing an increase of 9.1pc.

Moreover thanks to a 24pc surge in demand for its Mini brand last month, BMW reported overall group vehicle sales of 99,755 units - a gain of 12.9pc and still outselling Mercedes Car Group sales of 96,200 vehicles including Daimler's Smart brand.

"We have undertaken to achieve sales growth in 2007 in the upper single-digit percentage range. We are well on the way to meeting this objective," Michael Ganal, BMW's head of sales and marketing, said.

Even the company's super-luxury nameplate Rolls-Royce, after reporting stagnant sales over the past years, managed dramatically to lift its monthly sales 15pc bringing the brand's total to 459 units sold in January to August.

Cumulative BMW group sales increased 7.1pc to 952,929 units in the eight months through August.

Investors have begun largely to ignore BMW's undoubted success at selling cars, however, due to the company's failure to maintain once-lofty pretax profit margins.

Bavarian rival Audi managed to boost its deliveries by 4.2pc as growth in key export markets overcompensated for sagging demand in Germany.Not only did Audi boost August unit sales by 24pc in China, nearly 18pc in Britain and 7.pc in the US, but it also saw remarkable growth in new markets such as Russia and Africa/Middle East.

Source: [url=http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=193189&Sn=BUSI&IssueID=30172]Gulf Daily News[/url]
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