BMW’s first-quarter new-car sales were the highest ever with the help of March sales that surpassed previous records as its three major markets reported double-digit growth. China outperformed the United States as the company's biggest single market in the first three months this year, strengthening its position as the largest growth driver for the luxury vehicle industry.
With the Rolls-Royce and Mini brands, group sales rose by 12% in March to 185,728 units, resulting to a cumulative tally so far in 2012 to 425,528 units for an overall gain of 11.2%. BMW revealed that March sales cast a shadow on the prior monthly record from last June due to the strong showings for its 1 series volume model and a good beginning for the refurbished 3 series.
BMW sales boss Ian Robertson commented that the "outstanding" results are due to their "attractive, young model range" and their strategy of "healthy, balanced growth" throughout the world. He further stated that they aim to continue the momentum with more new models in 2012 such as a model revision of the flagship BMW 7 series as well as the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.
BMW reiterated its intentions to grow quicker than the market and to reach new record sales for its brands. In China, group sales increased by 41.1% to 30,593 units in March and by 36.8% to 80,014 for the quarter.
March sales in the United States rose 13% to 29,806 units and 16.6% to 75,729 units for the quarter. Sales in Germany rose 11.6% to 30,981 units last month and by 2% to 66,222 units for the quarter. The company achieved all-time high sales in the first three months this year with more than 400,000 units delivered to customers, Robertson told reporters at the New York car show last week.