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Fri, Feb 09, 2007 - Page 10 News List

BMW sold record number of vehicles in Asia last year

AFP , SINGAPORE

German luxury car maker BMW said it sold a record 126,949 vehicles in Asia last year, up 13.8 percent from 2005, driven mostly by strong demand in China.

The Munich-based company said in a statement that it plans to sell 150,000 cars by next year.

"The BMW Group grew more strongly in Asia than in any other region of the world," said Michael Ganal, a member of the management board at BMW AG.

"This means that we are going to strengthen our presence in the individual markets in the years to come," he said.

"We will continue our product and market initiative and invest further," he added..

Sales of BMW branded cars rose 15.5 percent to 109,848 units, while take up of the popular Mini jumped 3.7 percent to 16,959.

The company delivered 142 of its ultra-luxury Rolls-Royce Phantoms to Asian customers last year, compared with the 102 in 2005.

Group sales in the China region, which covers the mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, rose 35.4 percent to 44,700 units.

Sales in China alone totalled 36,357 vehicles, up more than 50 percent, with the growth spurred by the BMW 3 and 5 series.

Japan, BMW's biggest individual market in Asia, saw a record 62,068 vehicles sold, up 5.6 percent.

BMW said its production plant in Chennai, southern India, is due to open soon, making it the company's fifth production location in Asia.

Production of the BMW 3 series at the Indian facility will start at the end of next month, followed by the BMW 5 series in May.

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