Last month, BMW’s worldwide sales continued to grow as it aims to retain its title as the top-selling premium brand by beating out competitors such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Last January, the core brand sales increased by 5.9% to 96,183 units. This places BMW at a better position than Mercedes, which saw sales increased by 5.1% to 86,921 last month.
Audi hasn’t revealed how many it sold in January yet but it anticipates that the positive trend in sales will continue in the coming months.
In a statement last Wednesday, BMW's head of sales Ian Robertson said that an even more dynamic growth is expected in the second half of the year with the launch of its new models. Later this month, BMW will launch a new version of its top-selling 3-series model. The overall sales of BMW Group vehicles such as the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands increased by 6.6% in January 2012 to 112,163 units.
Its monthly deliveries were boosted with the aid of the sales of BMW's X1-, X3- and X5-series SUVs. Sales of the overhauled X3 SUV increased by 56.2% to 9,348 units in January.
Meanwhile, sales of its small X1 model increased by 5.6% to 7,445 cars in the same period. Its X5 model sold 8.3% more units to 8,872. For the month of January 2012, BMW’s Mini brand sold 11.6% more cars to 15,768. Sales of the Countryman model increased by 59% to 5,575 cars. The BMW Group’s sales in the U.S. (its biggest single market) rose by 5.8% to 19,739 vehicles in January. Its sales in China grew by 30.5% to 26,505 deliveries.
When the 2000 BMW X5 was first released in 1999, it signaled a change in the automotive world. The X5 showed that while BMW models have always been about linear control, responsiveness, and driving dynamics, it could be matched with versatility and utility, in addition to other-road capability. It was considered by many as the first Sports Activity Vehicle in the world. With the expected spring 2010 release of the 2011 X5, the brand is again starting a new chapter for the model.
This latest incarnation not only has its design updated but also fitted with new powertrains. Indeed, all models have a redesign that emphasizes the visual appeal the X5 is celebrated for. The design of the 2011 X5’s body reveals well-balanced proportions allowing it to showcase its agility and strong presence. By having a long wheelbase but ensuring that the overhangs in the front and rear are short, it gives an excellent visual balance.
Helping with this appearance are the light-alloy wheels. In addition, the flared square-shaped wheel arches provide a clue as to the off-road capability and its all-wheel drive traction. Now the brand has long been known for its signature driving dynamics and this is mainly owed to the almost 50-50 front-to-rear weight distribution. Highlighting this fact are the body lines that start from the wheels in the front and sweep upwards to the wheels in the rear.
Each side of the X5 meanwhile has horizontal lines that allow it to be gracefully stretched. There is a contour line on the same level as the door handle which begins at the wheel arches in the front and slowly rises to the rear. Meanwhile the hood’s surface is able to effortlessly flow to the waistline. Combined, all of these character lines equate to power, presence, and stability.
As mentioned, the X5 not only has an updated design but new powertrains as well. This is all due to the 4,000 new parts that were made by both the design team and engineering team. While the BMW Advanced Diesel X5 xDrive35d is still present as standard, the brand is offering two new ones with the BMW X5 xDrive35i and the BMW X5 xDrive50i. The BMW X5 is expected to make its official debut in North America during the 2010 New York International Auto Show.