BMW Group has said that it sold over 1.46m vehicles in 2010, 13.6% ahead of 2009 and making it the second most successful retail year ever for the group.

Speaking in Detroit, Ian Robertson – BMW board member with responsibility for sales – highlighted the company's move into new segments in 2010 with such cars as the BMW X1, Mini Countryman and Rolls-Royce Ghost.

“The outstanding performance of these new models, as well as the new BMW 5 Series, contributed well to our strong sales results for 2010,” he said.

Introduced in September of last year, the Mini Countryman already accounts for a fifth of Mini brand sales.

“In the UK it is already sold out until spring and we are very confident it will also be a huge success here in the US,” Robertson said.

2010 was also a record year for Rolls-Royce in which we the luxury brand managed over 2,700 vehicles worldwide and saw triple-digit growth over the previous year.

“Over 80% of Ghost customers are new to Rolls-Royce. So this model has done a great job in attracting new customers to this fantastic brand,” Robertson said.

Robertson was upbeat about prospects for BMW Group in 2011, with the company looking to sell over 1.5m vehicles and achieve all-time highs for its brands.

“The growth we’re seeing in key markets such as China and the US as well as in rapidly accelerating markets such as Brazil, Korea and India give us reason to look ahead with optimism,” Robertson said.

The BMW Group said it made sales gains in virtually all markets in 2010. Germany remains the company’s largest market: In December registrations increased 16.6% to 23,550 vehicles. A total of 266,009 new BMW and Mini vehicles were registered throughout the year (+3.1%; prev. yr. 258,069). In a total market that shrank by 23% from 2009 levels, the BMW Group was able to expand its market share in Germany by 2.3 percentage points to 9.1% over the course of the year. The BMW brand also managed to increase sales in Germany in 2010.

In its second-largest market, the US, December sales climbed 16.9% to 27,600 vehicles, thanks to full local availability of the BMW 5 Series and strong demand for the BMW X5 and X6 models produced in Spartanburg. The BMW Group increased its sales volumes for the full year 2010 by 9.9% to 265,757 vehicles.

BMW said that especially strong growth rates were reported in China, the BMW Group’s third-largest market. A total of 16,132 BMW and Mini vehicles were sold in December (+59.5%). Sales for the full year 2010 rose 86.7% to 168,998 units. BMW said the Group profited from continued strong demand for the high-end models in its product range.