BMW AG and Volkswagen AG gained the most in automotive sales in Europe as new models led to more deliveries and the German companies' home market broadened quicker than nearby countries' deliveries fell. European registrations rose 1.1 percent from 1.26 million units a year earlier to 1.27 million, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association revealed on Tuesday. Nine-month sales decreased 0.8 percent to 10.5 million units. According to analyst Juergen Pieper at Bankhaus Metzler, the German manufacturers are "in a better situation than others in Europe" and they are still winning market share.
Sales in Germany will increase by 5 percent to 10 percent with the remainder of this year, he added. Volkswagen models released in the past year included a refurbished Audi A6 sedan and a new variant of the Passat mid-sized vehicle. BMW in turn remodeled its mid-size 5-series range last year, and its worldwide deliveries of the X3 SUV increased three times last month. Renault SA too has experienced a healthy demand for its DS4 and DS3 compacts.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen Group's sales improved 12.5 percent to 294,309 units in September. Furthermore, BMW shipped 79,920 vehicles in the same period, an increase of 6.8 percent. Renault's registrations went up 1.5 percent to 110,198.
ACEA has revealed that industry sales in Germany increased 8.1 percent to 280,689 last month. Figures published by the ACEA include the 27 members of the European Union with the addition of Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Western European vehicle sales, excluding numbers from the eastern European and Mediterranean island nations that have joined the EU since 2004, improved 1.1 percent to 1.2 million units.
There is no denying that the first generation BMW X3 launched in 2004 was a huge success in the United States and in Europe. After all, the first BMW X3 presented an excellent proposition to the driving public as a small, premium Sports Activity Vehicle boasting of all-road capability and unmatched driving dynamics. In fact, BMW sold 600,000 units of the first generation X3 throughout its life cycle, of which 150,000 were sold in the US.
Its success has prompted other carmakers to introduce similar offerings. The huge success of the first generation X3 is what the next generation BMW premium SAV is trying to emulate. To achieve that, BMW further developed its core competencies while introducing new technology, thereby allowing the second generation X3 to set new benchmarks in the areas of comfort, agility and efficiency.
The German carmaker plans to assemble the new BMW X3 at its expanded manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and intends to roll them off to its BMW Centers in the US by the end of 2010. The new BMW X3 features an agile, elegant yet rugged exterior marked by forward-slanting BMW kidney grille on the front, as flanked by a large headlight assembly. The upper edge of this headlight assembly is accentuated by a chrome trim.
In addition, the front end of the SAV features an aggressive apron as well as a hood with six contour lines converging at the kidney grill. As is typical of BMW SAVs, the BMW X3 boasts of a triangular light pattern courtesy of its twin round headlights and the round fog lamps. Of course, the new X3 is provided with BMW's signature "Corona Rings," which are illuminated to serve as the daytime running lights. A BMW X3 fitted with the optional Xenon headlights would feature white LED-illuminated Corona Rings and daytime running lights.
Furthermore, the new BMW X3 has a profile marked by its own interpretation of typical BMW X design elements like its flared wheel arches and its short front and rear overhangs, as well as its three characteristic lines. An upper contour line – placed at door handle level -- initially rises sharply within the front wheel arch area, then flows gently to the rear. This contour line is followed by two subtle lines just above the wheel arches.