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Business

BMW in record race gets boost from October sales

German auto maker BMW remains the world’s top-selling manufacturer of luxury cars, ahead of Audi and Mercedes. Boosted by record October sales, the Munich-based car group appears set to extend its lead in 2013.

In October, BMW group delivered 165,851 cars to customers around the globe, an increase by 5.2 percent compared with October 2012, the German top-of-the-range carmaker announced on Monday.

The Munich-based car group, which includes BMW cars as well as the Mini city car and Britain's Rolls Royce, was able to boost sales in all of its divisions and in all world regions.

“In the month of October, as well as in the first ten month of 2013, we continued driving in the fast lane and posted record sales despite strong headwinds in European markets,” said BMW's Sales and Marketing Chief Ian Robertson in a statement.

The rise in October propelled group sales in 2013 to about 1.6 million, which manifested BMW's pole position in the global luxury car segment ahead of its German rivals Audi and Mercedes. Audi sold 1.31 million cars while Mercedes delivered 1.2 million vehicles to customers in the period.

Between January and October, sales were significantly higher in Asia, up 17.7 percent, with the biggest demand for BMW cars coming from China with a rise in sales by about 20 percent to 469,434 vehicles.

In the Americas, the Munich carmaker sold 366,661 vehicles, out of which the US market took in about 295,000 cars alone. Demand for BMW's on the whole continent grew by more than 11 percent.

The significant gains overseas helped BMW compensate stagnant sales in its main market Europe, where about 711,900 customers bought a car from the company, up 0.1 percent compared with the same ten-month period of 2012.

Noting that BMW was hoping for further positive developments in the remaining months of 2013, sales chief Robertson said the carmaker was laying particular emphasis on profitable growth.

Against the background of sales in the first ten months, BMW appears well on track of breaking its record of 1.85 million sold cars set in 2012.

uhe/jr (dpa, Reuters)