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BMW On Road To Sales Record

Germany luxury automaker BMW announced strong third-quarter results on Wednesday. For the first nine months of the fiscal year, the company recorded sales of 32 billion euro ($31.88 billion), a 14 percent increase over the same period a year ago. During the third quarter, sales rose 19 percent to close to 10 billion euro, a 19 percent rise. The company stated pre-tax profits for the first nine months of 2.7 billion euro.

The company attributed the gains to strong sales of its 3 and 7 series sedans and X-5 sports utility vehicles. BMW said it moved 262,066 of its redesigned, classic Mini Cooper cars -- surpassing expectations. The company set a goal in 2002 of selling more than one million cars for the first time in its history and appeared to be on track to do so with sales of more than 805,808 vehicles during the first three quarters.

In September, BMW sales climbed at a faster rate than any other European carmarker. With a gain of 28 percent, the company far surpassed German competitors including DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen. The key to BMW's success appears to be its focus on the luxury car market. At a time when economy car sales have been lagging, BMW has had difficulty stocking enough of its 7 Series on showroom floors to meet customer demand.