FRANKFURT -- Germany's BMW, the world's largest premium carmaker, posted a 13.7 percent increase in group vehicle sales to 110,957 units in July, thanks to an even stronger performance at its flagship BMW brand.
Group deliveries to customers in the first seven months rose 10 percent to 757,498 vehicles.
In July, the BMW brand increased sales by 15 percent to 93,797 units, while deliveries of its Mini brand gained 7.1 percent to 17,115 cars.
The Munich-based carmaker said it sold 94,622 new 3 series saloons since the model's relaunch in March -- 85 percent more than were sold of the previous-generation model in the same time period after its launch in April 1998.
BMW also kept sales of its high-margin 5-Series largely stable, with deliveries of the line down 0.6 percent to 131,388 units in the first seven months of 2005.
Sales of its super-luxury Rolls-Royce Phantom gained 15 percent to 45 cars, bringing deliveries for the first seven months of the year to 330 units, a drop of 7.8 percent.
"We've expanded our leading position in the premium segment across the world," BMW sales and marketing chief Michael Ganal said in a statement.
"While the entire premium segment worldwide has grown some 2 percent year-to-date, we have been able to clearly surpass this with 10-percent growth," he continued.
During a conference call on Wednesday, Chief Executive Helmut Panke had said preliminary data showed car sales for the month of July rising by more than 10 percent.
On Thursday, archrival Mercedes Car Group, DaimlerChrysler's premium division, reported vehicle sales rose by 2.2 percent to 100,200 units in July.
In the first seven months of the year, divisional sales were down 1.3 percent at 674,200 units.
Last month, sales of Mercedes-Benz brand cars rose 4.4 percent to 88,200 units, a larger increase than the 3.5 to 4 percent gain Cordes had signalled in late July.
Accumulated sales up to and including July were still some 3.1 percent lower at 588,200 vehicles.