The BMW Group is set to pass two million global sales across all its brands in 2014, following a record-breaking November.
BMW is reporting a worldwide 7.6 per cent increase over the same period in 2013, when it was the biggest selling premium car maker in the world. The Group sold 1.96m vehicles in 2013, compared to Audi's 1.58m and Mercedes's 1.46m. Neither Audi nor Mercedes have issued latest sales figures for 2014, although both have enjoyed record growth in previous months.
In particular, Ian Robertson, the member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for sales and marketing. welcomed the broad geographic base of sales growth: "The US remains robust, Asia is mixed but has strong positives and Europe is developing, albeit off a low base," he said. "There are challenging areas, such as Russia, but overall we see more upsides than risks, and we think that trend will continue in to 2015."
Mini's rise was largely down to the popularity of the three-door Hatch, of which 26.3 per cent more were sold than in 2013, but the arrival of the new five-door version also helped boost numbers. The two accounted for 24,873 and 4033 sales respectively. However, these numbers are slightly affected by the launch of the new Hatch; overall Mini sales are down by 3.3 per cent over the whole of 2014 so far versus the same period last year.
The bulk of the BMW Group's sales came from the main BMW brand, with the newly launched 2-series Active Tourer and the new 4-series models boosting numbers. Since the model was launched two months ago, BMW has sold 6918 2-series Active Tourers, while 104,910 examples of the 4-series in its coupé and convertible forms have been sold so far this year.
The other new models, the electric i3 and hybrid i8, have seen a strong start to sales, with the hatchback i3 accounting for 13,849 sales so far in 2014. The i8 has sold 1129 examples since it launched earlier this summer.
“November continues the sales growth we have seen throughout the year," said Robertson. "Our new models have made a very good start, while our core models continue to record a steady increase in sales. We can now be confident of achieving our target of selling over two million vehicles by the end of the year, a new record for the BMW Group.”
Notably, the UK led European sales growth again, spurred by economic recovery and corporate growth. Growth in China is also slowing, albeit to around 15 per cent year-on-year, from a peak of around 25 per cent. Robertson indicated that he expected Chinese growth to 'normalise' at below 10 per cent in the next year, as BMW completed its expansion in the largest cities and started pushing in to new, smaller ones.