Sun, Jan 11, 2015 - Page 13 News List

German carmakers post banner sales year

AFP, FRANKFURT, Germany

German automakers BMW AG, Daimler AG and Volkwagen AG said on Friday that their leading brands attained record sales last year, driven by rising demand in all regions.

Top-of-the-range maker BMW said in a statement that it delivered more than 2 million vehicles to customers last year, “the company’s fourth record year in a row.”

It said it sold a total of 2.118 million BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles, which was 7.9 percent more than the year before.

“I am delighted that we achieved our target of selling more than 2 million vehicles in 2014, a new record for the BMW group. We have seen good growth throughout the year, well spread across all major sales regions,” BMW sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson said. “We are now looking forward to building on these successes in 2015.”

Separately, Daimler said its Mercedes-Benz brand also posted the “best-ever sales in the company’s history.”

Sales of Mercedes-Benz cars rose by 12.9 percent to 1.65 million, its fourth straight year of record demand.

“Mercedes-Benz is on a course of success. The best sales in our company’s history show that our product offensive is bearing fruit,” chief executive Dieter Zetsche said. He attributed the group’s success “in particular to our compact cars, the new C-Class and the S-Class.”

However, the group managed to increase unit sales in all core markets, Zetsche said.

“In 2015, we will continue our product offensive in the SUV [sports utility vehicle] segment,” the CEO added.

Volkwagen, Europe’s biggest automaker, said sales of its VW-brand cars topped 6 million for the first time, with worldwide sales reaching 6.12 million vehicles.

“The VW car brand has now achieved record sales for the 10th year in a row. We’ve doubled sales of the brand since 2004,” sales and marketing chief Christian Klingler said.

Sales of VW’s luxury brand Audi rose by 10.5 percent to 1.741 million vehicles worldwide last year, Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said.

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