January 12, 2018 / 8:05 AM / 5 months ago

BMW 2017 car sales hit 2.09 mln record but Mercedes keeps lead

BERLIN, Jan 12 (Reuters) - BMW sales rose to a new record last year on strong demand for sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and the 1-Series compact, but the brand was again outsold by rival Mercedes-Benz whose deliveries increased twice as fast.

Sales of the BMW brand were up 4.2 percent in 2017 to 2.09 million passenger cars and SUVs, compared with a 9.9 percent gain or 2.29 million at Mercedes, which claimed the top spot in global luxury-car sales rankings for a second year.

BMW deliveries were fuelled by demand for SUVs which increased 9.6 percent in 2017 on year-earlier figures and the 1-Series, sales of which jumped 15 percent. Brand deliveries were up 9.5 percent to 195,916 cars.

“I’m confident BMW sales will continue to grow during 2018, while we also maintain our focus on profitability,” said new sales chief Pieter Nota, who replaced Ian Robertson on Jan. 1.

Volkswagen’s luxury division Audi is expected to release 2017 car sales later on Friday.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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