European car sales in 2010 are predicted to drop by at least 1 million units but BMW AG, Audi AG and Daimler AG, the top three luxury brands, are quite optimistic and think that they will achieve better results. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, BMW sales boss Ian Robertson said that this year, BMW will be launching "a lot of new products," which it didn't have much of last year.
According to European automakers association ACEA, the recent arrival of the X1 had boosted BMW's first-quarter European sales 7.9% to 137,337.
BMW anticipates further gains with the release of the new-generation 5 series, which dealers have started to receive last month.
With the upcoming debuts of the Mini Countryman and second-generation BMW X3, Robertson thinks that BMW has a product momentum going. Last week, CEO Dieter Zetsche was at Mercedes parent Daimler's annual shareholders meeting in Berlin.
He said that Mercedes-Benz's global sales will rise quicker than those for the overall industry this year, with help from its new E-class model line. Mercedes will be relying on the high demand in Europe, where it sold over 40% of its cars in the first three months of the year.
Meanwhile, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler expects that the launch of new models such as the A8, A1 and A7 will push the brand to continue to grow this year. In the first quarter, Audi's sales in Europe were up 4.2% to 154,408 units.