10 January 2013 - 3:26pm | posted by | 0 comments

Recession? What recession? Germany's car firms roar ahead

BMW1 compact:Up 29 per centBMW1 compact:Up 29 per cent

Never mind the dark days in Europe, BMW, the world’s top luxury car maker, is looking for still higher sales this year after widening its lead over Audi and Mercedes-Benz in 2012, says a Bloomberg report.

Deliveries rose 12 percent to a record 1.54 million cars and SUVs last year, BMW said today in a statement. Volkswagen’s Audi grew 12 percent to 1.46 million and Mercedes were up 4.7 percent to 1.32 million.

Europe, may have had its financial woes in 2012 but Germany’s luxury-car makers have compensated by selling more cars in the U.S. and China.

“We enter the new year with positive momentum,” Ian Robertson, BMW’s sales chief, said . “Despite the prevailing headwinds in some markets, we aim to achieve another record year in sales in 2013.”

BMW’s deliveries will probably rise 4.6 percent to 1.58 million vehicles this year, according to IHS Automotive, likely keeping it in the top spot.

But both Mercedes and Audi are determined to grab that by the end of the decade. Audi’s sales may stagnate this year, while Mercedes closes in on No. 2 with a 6.7 percent rise to 1.44 million. cars, according to IHS.

Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Commerzbank said, “BMW is at the peak of its product cycle, and Mercedes will start catching up as it refreshes its lineup.”

BMW’s sales last year were led by a 29 percent surge in demand for the 1-Series compact and a 22 percent jump for the new 3-Series sedan.

Audi sales chief Luca de Meo is also upbeat. In a statement he said, “In 2012, Audi achieved new record totals in every region worldwide, including Europe. We managed to buck the negative trend and continued to grow there.”

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