BMW Sales Up Nearly 14 Percent In 2010

Worldwide sales of its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars totaled 1.46 million, up from nearly 1.29 million in 2009, and the company expects to sell a record number in 2011.

BERLIN (AP) -- BMW AG's sales rose 13.6 percent last year, with China leading the growth, and the company says it expects to sell a record number of cars in 2011.

Worldwide sales of its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars totaled 1.46 million, up from nearly 1.29 million in 2009. The group sold 141,358 cars in December, 14.2 percent more than a year earlier.

BMW board member Ian Robertson said Monday he expects sales to exceed 1.5 million in 2011 -- "setting new record highs for the group."

"While we closely watch some ongoing economic uncertainties throughout the world, we are certain to continue benefiting from our young model line-up" and the ability of new vehicles such as BMW's 5 series, X3 and X1 and the Mini Countryman," Robertson said in a statement.

The core BMW brand sold more than 1.22 million cars in 2010 -- a 14.6 percent increase over the previous year. Mini sales rose 8.1 percent to 234,175 and the luxury Rolls-Royce brand notched its highest sales figures since BMW took over the automaker seven years ago, selling 2,711 cars -- a 171 percent increase.

However, that was still short of the company's all-time record of 3,357 cars in 1978, Rolls-Royce spokesman Andrew Ball said.

BMW said group sales in 2010 increased in "virtually all markets."

Sales in China, the company's third-biggest market, were up 59.5 percent in December, when 16,132 BMW and Mini cars were sold. For the full year, sales there were up a sharper 86.7 percent to 168,998 as BMW benefited from strong demand for high-end models.

Sales in the U.S. — BMW's second-biggest market — were 16.9 percent higher last month at 27,600 cars, with the company crediting full availability there of its 5 series and strong demand for X5 and X6 cars produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina. For the whole of 2010, sales were 9.9 percent higher at 265,757 cars.

BMW's December sales were up 16.6 percent at 23,550 in Germany, its biggest market. For the full year — a period that saw overall car sales decline following the expiration of Germany's popular car-scrapping bonus scheme — they were up 3.1 percent at 266,009.
More in Global