FRANKFURT -- BMW sold 4.6 percent more cars in July as rising deliveries of its core BMW brand vehicles compensated for a drop in Mini sales, the company said on Friday.
Group vehicle sales increased to 97,513 units in July, helped by a 6.5 percent boost in sales of BMW brand vehicles to 81,502 units. Mini sales slid 4.5 percent to 15,972 cars.
BMW reiterated its forecast for vehicle sales to grow by a high single-digit percentage figure in 2004.
For the first seven months, deliveries rose 7.9 percent to 688,510 vehicles, helping the Munich-based carmaker maintain its lead over arch-rival Mercedes Car Group, a unit of DaimlerChrysler AG.
Chief Executive Helmut Panke told reporters on Wednesday that group sales had risen between 4-5 percent last month due to an increase in BMW brand sales of some 7 percent on the back of the group's largest ever model offensive.
Panke said Mini sales would be somewhat lower in July due to the ramp up of the brand's new cabrio model, and suggested the decline might not end there. Nevertheless, on the year as a whole, deliveries of its cult brand should still increase.
"Even if we have a month or two this summer where we're below on the year, we will achieve at the end of the year a new sales record for Mini as well," Panke said after BMW posted record quarterly results.
BMW also reaffirmed on Wednesday that it would achieve new all-time highs in earnings, revenues and car sales for the current year.