BMW Group sales rose by 2.7% over last year to 79,900 vehicles in January. However, Group growth was wholly down to MINI ramp-up. The Mini has now been launched in all significant markets, with 15,100 vehicles sold in January (versus 7,740 in January 2002).

The BMW brand recorded a decline in sales. BMW sales totalled 64,800 in January, 7.5% down on the same month last year.

BMW said that the decline is ‘largely due to the effect of model cycles’.

The company pointed out that the 5 Series is coming up to a model change this year and that in the 3 Series model range, the Cabrio, Coupé and compact are facing model updates at the moment.

Also, the North American made BMW Z4 roadster has yet to be made available outside North America.

The company said that it remains confident on prospects for the year as a whole, ‘assuming that the world political situation becomes more stable’.

After the market launch of new models and model updates, the company is assuming that sales will rise in 2003 – with increasing energy in the second half-year – for all of the Group’s brands compared with the previous year.

Sales of the BMW 7 Series in January (4,370 cars delivered to customers) were 12% ahead of the same month last year.

Deliveries of the BMW 5 Series fell by 23% to 10,870 units, adversely affected by imminent changeover, according to BMW. The BMW 3 Series was down 3% at 40,970 units.

Some 1,390 Z4s were sold in January on the American market.