BMW Group vehicle sales rose 11.4% year on year in September to 131,705 units. For the year to end-September, 988,463 vehicles were sold, also up 11.4%.

BMW brand sales rose 13.5% in September to 111,518 and were also up 11.4% year to date to 828,586.

X5 SUV sales in the first nine months rose 0.9% to 76,485, impressive given that the line has been on sale for some years and a full redesign is not far off. Sales of the smaller X3, derided at launch by some US and UK consumer writers, were up 40.1% to 84,802 units year to date - though this does reflect the recent availability of additional model variants such as six-cylinder diesels.

Sales of the Mini, launched in 2001, are still rising - just. Though September volume was up only 1% to 20,112, YTD sales rose 11.6% to 159,413. A new Toyota-made diesel engine is about to become available and BMW (GB) has taken double the launch orders expected for three new 'limited edition' petrol versions.

"It was our aim to break the 200,000 barrier for the first time this year when it came to Mini sales. The figures available for the first three quarters of this year show that this ambitious target is perfectly within our reach," BMW said in a statement.

Rolls-Royce delivered 75 Phantoms in September, up 7.1% year on year. But YTD sales were off 4.3% to 464 units.

Graeme Roberts