Luxury car sales defy crisis

Sales at major German luxury carmakers Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz continued to surge in September despite the unfolding European debt crisis. ”Wehave made made solid gains right across the globe and once again achieved record sales for September, which contributed to a record third quarter” BMW CEO Ian Robertson said in a statement. 

BMW expects to hit its 2011 sales target of more than 1,6 million vehicles (all its brands, including Mini and Rolls Royce). These results maintain BMW’s leading position as the world’s best selling luxury carmaker, ahead of its competitors Audi and Mercedes Benz. Sales for the BMW brand rose 9,3% in September to 128.446 units, with X3, X1 registering particularly strong demand. 

Mercedes Benz posted a smaller 2% increase compared to the same month last year, reaching a number of 120.982 units sold in September. Sales of Mercedes Benz for the first 9 months rose 7,6%, totalling 919.288 units sold.

AUDI confirmed on Monday that September sales rose by 17% compared to 2010, reaching a total of 120.982 units sold, with the highest growth in China (33%). Sales in the first 9 months of 2011 were up 17%, a total of 973.200 units. Surprisingly, Audi performed well even in European countries such as Spain which have been affected by the debt crisis. 

“The third quarter has been an especially successful one for Audi in China. We were able to significantly extend our premium segment lead thanks in part to our expanded production capacities,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. Between January and September, the company’s cumulative sales in the Middle Kingdom amounted to around 226,000 vehicles. Schwarzenbauer: “During the first week of October we had already equaled our sales record for all of 2010 in China. We want to pass the 300,000 mark for the first time in 2011.”

In Sweden, the most important growth market for Audi in Scandinavia, the brand grew by 15.0 percent to 1,486 deliveries, and by an even more impressive 56.9 percent in the Netherlands, to 1,790 vehicles. Despite difficult market conditions, Audi was also able to sell more cars in Spain than during September of 2010, posting a gain of 9.7 percent (2,634 units); sales in Italy (5,713; +0.9%) achieved last year’s levels.