In the global race for luxury sales supremacy, BMW has widened its lead over its rival Audi in the luxury car industry in the first six months of 2013 despite European setbacks.
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BMW widened its lead in the luxury car industry in the first six months of 2013 as sales of the revamped 3-Series model surged 22 percent.
Global deliveries by the BMW brand rose 7.7 percent from a year earlier to 804,248 cars and sport-utility vehicles, the Munich-based company said in a statement today.
First-half deliveries were at record highs for the period as the three German luxury-auto producers sidestepped recessions in Europe with growth in the U.S. and China. BMW, Ingolstadt-based Audi and Stuttgart-based Mercedes are largely maintaining production throughout July and August to meet overseas demand, rather than shutting plants for traditional summer breaks.
“The luxury-car makers profited from growth in China, the U.S. and emerging markets in the first half, avoiding the brunt of the European slowdown,” said Marc-Rene Tonn, a Hamburg-based analyst at Warburg Research GmbH. “We expect the European market to stabilize in the second half and the premium-car makers should get their share of it while growth in the U.S. and emerging markets should continue.”
Audi expects to get a lift in the second half from a new sedan version of the A3 compact, Luca de Meo, the brand’s sales chief, said in the division’s statement. The model goes on sale in Europe in September and in the U.S. and China in 2014.
Mercedes is pushing to make up lost ground by rolling out a new line of entry-level compacts, including the CLA four-door coupe, and refreshing upscale models like the top-of-the-line S-Class sedan. Sales of the brand’s compact models, including the A-Class hatchback and van-like B-Class, surged 58 percent to 173,362 vehicles in the first half.