BMW is still the world's best-selling premium brand - but rival Audi has closed the gap during the first three months of 2010.
During the first quarter BMW sold 265,809 new vehicles, compared to 264,100 for Audi and 248,500 for Mercedes.
Audi's figures were its best ever, and were boosted by extra sales in North America and China - both up by more than a third compared to the first three months of 2009 - but BMW were the only one of Germany's big three luxury brands to post an increase in their home market, with sales rising by 1.4 percent.
The BMW Group as a whole, which includes the Mini and Rolls Royce brands, also enjoyed rises. Mini sales were up 13.6 per cent, with just shy of 50,000 sales for the first quarter, while Rolls-Royce sales rose by nearly two-thirds - from 174 cars in the first three months of 2009 to 279 for the same period this year.