Luxury-car sales continued to surge

Luxury-Car Sales Defy Crisis

Luxury-car sales continued to surge in September despite Europe’s deepening debt crisis and slowing economic growth in several major markets, making it likely that BMW AG, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand will report solid third-quarter earnings growth.

BMW expects to hit its 2011 sales target of more than 1.6 million combined for its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, he said, which would represent a sales record for the group. BMW expects to remain the world’s best-selling premium auto maker, ahead of its German rivals Audi and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz this year.

Sales for the company’s core BMW brand rose 9.3% in September to 128,446 cars. Demand was particularly strong for the compact sports-utility-vehicles X3 and X1. In the first nine months of the year, the brand’s sales were up 15% from a year earlier at 1.02 million cars.BMW’s sales figures were mirrored by Volkswagen’s Audi.

Audi said Monday that global sales rose 17% from a year earlier in September to 120,200 cars, with strong growth in China, where sales rose 33% to 29,476 cars. Sales in the first nine months of the year were up 17% at 973,200. Sales also grew in some of the countries facing tough austerity measures such U.K. and Spain.

Last week, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand posted 120,982 car sales for September, up 2% year-to-year. The brand’s sales in the first nine months of the year rose 7.6% to 919,288 cars.


More: wsj