BMW sells near-record 1.46 mn vehicles in 2010

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German luxury automaker BMW reported Monday a 13.6 percent increase in 2010 group sales to 1.46 million vehicles and said it aimed to set a record of more than 1.5 million this year.

The 2010 figure represented BMW's second best result to date, a statement said, after 2007 sales of 1,500,678 cars.

On Friday, rival Daimler reported a 15 percent increase in 2010 sales of its Mercedes-Benz cars to almost 1.17 million.

"We want to remain number one among premium auto manufacturers and expect sales of more than 1.5 million vehicles in 2011, to establish a new record," BMW sales director Ian Robertson said in the statement.

German rival Audi reported record 2010 sales of more than 1.09 million vehicles last week, thanks to a jump of 43 percent in China.

For BMW, Germany remained the biggest market with 266,009 vehicles, a gain of 3.1 percent, followed by the United States, up 9.9 percent to 265,757.

China was third but gaining quickly, with sales leaping 86.7 percent to 168,998.

A breakdown of the numbers showed that in December alone, the BMW group, which includes the MINI and Rolls-Royce brands, sold 141,358 cars, up 14.2 percent from December 2009.

Daimler and Audi also said sales were particularly strong late last year.

© 2011 AFP

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