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BMW group car sales rise 3 percent in April

From Reuters| May 09 , 2007

Group vehicle sales at BMW grew 3.0 percent in April to 118,456 units, the company said in a statement today.

BMW brand sales edged up 0.5 percent to 100,141 units, while sales of the Mini brand jumped 19.2 percent to 18,263 cars.

In the first four months of the year, group vehicle sales inched up 0.8 percent to 451,683 vehicles, including 165 Rolls-Royce Phantoms -- 4.4 percent more than in the year-ago period.

The group has forecast a substantial boost in deliveries to customers starting in the second quarter, following the market launch of its new 3-series coupe-cabriolet at the end of March that joined the refreshed 1 series and 5 series models.

The second generation of BMW's popular X5 SUV has also hit dealerships, and after the introduction of the revamped Mini, BMW will roll-out its Mini Clubman estate later in the year.

The group expects to sell more than 1.4 million BMWs, Minis and Rolls-Royces in total throughout the entire year -- a gain it says will be in the high single-digit percentage range.

CEO Norbert Reithofer said last week group retail sales had risen around 2.5 percent in April and that BMW brand car sales would rise sharply in May and June after a slight improvement in April.

By comparison, rival Mercedes Car Group reported on Monday, May 7, that vehicle sales fell 3.0 percent to 97,800 units despite the roll out of its revamped C class as sales of its Smart car continued to plunge.

Audi, the smallest of the three dominant German premium brands, is expected to publish its monthly sales figures on Wednesday, May 9, at its annual general meeting in Neckarsulm.

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