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German luxury car sales hit record in 2014


BERLIN, (Xinhua) -- German luxury automakers could celebrate their prosperous business on Friday as data showed that their sales hit record in 2014 thanks to strong demands especially from the United States, China and their German home market.

Munich-based BMW led the list, reporting a global delivery of about 1.81 million units, 9.5 percent more than in the previous year.

It was closely followed by Volkswagen's Audi which sold over 1.74 million cars to its customers around the world, seeing a yearly increase of 10.5 percent.

Daimler's Mercedes-Benz ranked the third as its global sales rose by 12.9 percent to 1.65 million cars.

All the three luxury car-markers said their sales in 2014 hit records thanks to growth in all major markets.

"We have seen good growth throughout the year, well spread across all major sales regions," BMW Group sales chief Ian Robertson said in a statement.

Delivery of BMW and MINI brand vehicles in China grew by 16.7 percent year-on-year to 455,979 cars, making China the brand's biggest single country market. Annual sales in the United States increased by 5.3 percent to 395,850, followed by sales in Germany which saw a growth of 1.7 percent to 273,433 units.

For Audi, China was also its biggest market in the world, contributed sales of 578,932 cars bearing the four-ring brand in 2014, up 17.7 percent from the 2013 level.

The United States markets also saw a strong sales growth of 15.2 percent. In 2014, 182,011 cars were delivered to the U.S. customers.

At Mercedes-Benz, China outpaced Germany for the first time as the second largest market in 2014. Sales in China rocketed by 29.1 percent year-on-year and hit a total of 281,588 vehicles. Customers in the United States, its largest market, bought 330,391 Mercedes Benz cars.

German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) estimated earlier that global car sales in 2014 would increased by 2 percent to 74.7 million units. Among them, 17.9 million were purchased by Chinese consumers, 16 million sold in the United States.

Also on Friday, Volkswagen Passenger Cars reported that it delivered over 6.12 million vehicles worldwide in 2014, hitting record for the tenth consecutive year and topped the 6-million mark for the first time.

"We have doubled deliveries by the brand since 2004," said Christian Klingler, sales chief of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, adding that his company was ready to face challenges in the new year with new auto models.

According to VDA's expectation, sales in global passenger car market would increase by 2 percent to 76.4 million units in 2015 when German car-makers would produce more than 15 million cars globally for the first time.



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