FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- BMW AG said on Friday it sold 1.5 percent more cars in July than a year ago, boosted by continued strong demand for its Mini model.
The Munich-based company said in a statement it sold 93,229 BMW brand and Mini cars in July, and in the first seven months of the year sales were up 0.4 percent at 638,090 cars.
Sales of its high-margin BMW brand, however, fell 1.7 percent in July to 76,506 from a year ago and are down 4.9 percent in the year to date, while Mini sales rose 19 percent in July and have soared 39 percent in the year so far.
The company is banking on its new 5-Series to lift unit sales this year. The model went on sale in Europe early in July.
The company reported a smaller-than-expected seven percent drop in pre-tax profit for the second quarter on Thursday, cushioned by currency and interest rate hedging. It expects this year to roughly match last year's profits, leaving room for a five to 10 percent rise or fall.
Arch rival Mercedes said this week sales of its Mercedes-Benz brand cars rose three percent in July to 96,500 vehicles but they have fallen about 1.2 percent in the year so far.
Mercedes also expects to match last year's profit level.
European car sales are expected to drop about three percent overall this year, according to industry experts.