Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche and BYD's Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu pose next to a Denza electric car at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing. (Photo : REUTERS/Daimler AG/Handout)
BMW and Audi continue to rise above the competition, as the two best-selling luxury car makers announced record global car sales in the month of May.
BMW sold 129,150 cars in the month of May, an increase of 6.6 percent, compared to Audi's sales of 12,900, an increase of 14 percent. So far in 2012, Audi's sales rose 12 percent year-to-year to 600,200 cars; BMW sold 607,207 vehicles globally, up 9.3 percent.
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Audi overtook Mercedes-Benz last year to become the second most-sold luxury car in the world.
"The current order intake proves that the first half of the year will exceed our expectations in all regions," Audi sales chief Peter Schwarzenbauer said Monday.
Luxury vehicles have not been affected by the economic crisis that has plagued other car manufacturers. Financial concerns in Europe have forced governments to reduce public spending, reducing the demand for new cars. European auto-makers association ACEA warned last week that the market would shrink about 7% this year.
The loss of demand has hurt mass car manufacturers who rely heavily on the European market, including the United States' General Motors Co. Luxury cars, however, have not seen the same problem.
"Our growth in Europe continues to clearly buck the market trend, with especially stable development in Germany and the U.K.," Mr. Schwarzenbauer said, and added that he doesn't see the situation changing anytime soon.
"New products such as the BMW 6-series Gran Coupe, which we launched on June 1, as well as the new BMW 7-series, will continue to drive momentum," said BMW sales chief Ian Robertson. "We are well on our way to achieving a new all-time high for sales in the year 2012."