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BMW says group unit sales rise 0.5 percent in January

From Reuters| February 08 , 2007

BMW posted a 0.5 percent rise in group sales to 94,276 vehicles in January, the company said today while forecasting continued growth this year.

"We have once again undertaken a good deal for 2007 -- the company strives for new sales records for all three brands. In this way, we intend to confirm our position as the world's leading supplier of premium automobiles once again," said Michael Ganal, BMW's sales and marketing chief, in a statement.

While BMW brand sales increased 3.0 percent to 80,629 units, its Mini brand suffered a 12.3 percent decline to 13,622 cars sold last month as some major markets are still waiting for the revamped second-generation Mini to arrive in showrooms.

Rolls-Royce sales fell 16.7 percent to 25 vehicles.

"As scheduled, sales growth of BMW brand vehicles is set to become far more dynamic over the course of the year," the company said in a statement.

Along with the 5- and 1-series models, which have been given a face lift, the new BMW 3-series cabrio will hit the market in March.

That month the revamped BMW X5 SUV will also finally go on sale in Europe. The model made its debut in the United States last November.

The Mini MkII, which hit European showrooms in November, is now being supplied to overseas markets and is being launched first in the United States -- the biggest market for the car in terms of volume -- this month.

"For the year 2007, as a whole, the company is planning to break the sales record of 200,428 vehicles delivered in 2005," BMW said, referring to Mini global sales.

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