The core brand of BMW AG outperformed Mercedes-Benz and Audi in October with international sales of 115,136 units, which is an increase of 6.8 percent from a year ago. Audi's sales rose 24 percent to 108,500 units last month while those of Mercedes boosted 2.9 percent to 103,378 units. During the first 10 months, the BMW brand has sold 1.13 million automobiles, an increase of 13.6 percent, thanks to the success of the X3 and 5 series.
Audi's sales increased 18 percent in the same period to 1.08 million. Meanwhile, sales of Mercedes rose 7.1 percent to 1.02 million cars.
In total, sales of BMW Group vehicles like the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands increased 15.2 percent in the first 10 months to 1.3 million units. Last month, the group sold 139,276 units, an increase of 8.3 percent. In July, BMW changed its sales forecast for this year from 1.5 million to 1.6 million vehicles. Audi is aiming to overtake BMW as the leader in the premium vehicle segment by 2015.
However, research firm IHS Automotive stated that Audi may return to the third spot behind Mercedes in 2012. IHS further revealed that sales of Audi are expected to increase 6.7 percent to 1.33 million units. On the other hand, Mercedes' sales are likely to grow 10 percent to 1.36 million vehicles.
IHS also stated that BMW will probably expand its sales lead with 1.47 million deliveries in 2012. A new range of more utilitarian and less expensive compact automobile as well as increasing sales of the company's latest C-class model may aid Mercedes to outperform Audi next year. Meanwhile, BMW will likely expand its luxury lead with next-generation models of the 3 series and 1 series.
Over the years, the BMW 3-Series compact sports sedan has managed to become a symbol of BMW’s dynamics, sporting capability and elegant beauty. Now on its sixth generation, the BMW 3-Series remains as sporty and as elegant as its predecessor, although it has become larger in all aspects. Just like its predecessor, the sixth generation of the BMW 3-Series Sedan’s proportions are shaped by the brand’s typical attributes -- sweeping bonnet, short front overhang, long wheelbase and set-back greenhouse.
Moreover, the new BMW 3-Series reveals its sporty nature through its wedge shaped silhouette and its track that is wider by 37 mm and 47 mm at the front and rear respectively. BMW worked to further highlight the sedan’s width to allow the multi-faceted surfaces of its front end to give the car a more athletic face.
The front end of the new BMW 3-Series is distinguished by a stance-enhancing BMW kidney grille that now comes with a wide, squat interpretation, as well as by flanking twin headlights that feature LED accent lights positioned like eyebrows.
These headlights -- which would feature corona rings once xenon headlights are specified -- extend up to the frame of the kidney grille, thereby visually merging these elements and further emphasizing the broad-set stance of the BMW 3-Series Sedan. The sedan’s front end styling is heavily distinguished by the closely spaced, squat openings of the kidney grille and their striking eye-catching surrounds, where precise lines of the car’s bonnet would end.
This styling gives the front end of the BMW 3-Series a lower-slung appearance. Instead of the central air intake of its predecessor, the new BMW 3-Series Sedan now features two larger intakes placed below the headlights to the outer front corners.
Sitting to the far left and right of the main intakes are small vertical ducts that help create the "Air Curtain" which helps improve airflow around the front wheels – resulting to better aerodynamic efficiency and lower fuel consumption when the sedan is moving at higher speeds.