FRANKFURT -- BMW group car sales rose 9.7 percent in April to 111,285 units, the world's largest luxury carmaker said on Monday, beating its own preliminary forecast given last week.
Sales of its core BMW brand rose 9.1 percent to 92,984 units last month, while Mini sales jumped an even higher 13.4 percent to 18,245 cars. BMW also delivered 56 Rolls-Royce Phantoms in April, down 16.4 percent from a year ago.
For the first four months, group car sales increased 8.6 percent to 403,521 units, led by dynamic growth in demand for hot new BMW models like the X3 SUV and the 1-series hatchback.
Last week, Chief Executive Helmut Panke predicted a rise of 7 percent in April car sales.
Turbocharged by a raft of hot new models, BMW has raced from one record to another, leaving arch-rival Mercedes Car Group in its dust.
The recent launch of its revamped 3-series sedan means the BMW brand may finally overtake Mercedes-Benz as the world's best-selling luxury marque this year.
Sales of its key model rose 16.9 percent in April to 68,931 units.
"Even now -- in the initial phase of the market launch of the new BMW 3-series saloon -- it is becoming clear that this car is being very well received by the market," BMW sales and marketing chief Michael Ganal said in a statement, vowing to consolidate further BMW's leading position in the market.
By comparison, sales at DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes Car Group rose 2 percent in April to 104,900 units, helped by the first year-on-year rise in deliveries of its flagship Mercedes-Benz brand this year.
The German-American carmaker said on Friday that sales of Mercedes-Benz cars increased 1 percent to 92,400 vehicles, while deliveries of Smart compacts gained 9.7 percent to 12,500 cars.
The division's sales fell a cumulative 2.7 percent in the first four months to 366,500 vehicles.