The continued market downturn for the auto industry has resulted in a “significant decline” in sales for BMW in November. The German automaker said that it had seen a 26.2% decrease in deliveries in the month over the same period last year.

Year-to-date, the BMW Group delivered 1,323,572 (prev.yr.: 1,347,957 / -1.8%) BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand automobiles to customers. This represented only a 1.8% fall on the same 11 month period in 2007.

The group said it was able to expand its market position in the premium segment over the first 11 months of the year, despite the downward trend.

Sales and marketing chief Ian Robertsonsaid: “Global automotive market demand fell once again in November. However, during the period to the end of November the group performed better than the overall premium segment and has increased its market share in the segment. In addition two of our three premium brands – Mini and Rolls-Royce – continue their growth over the 2007 sales results. The Mini brand is still the world’s fastest-growing premium brand.”

BMW recorded a 26.2% decrease in deliveries to 81,357 units in November.

Nonetheless, the company claimed the market launch of the new BMW 7 series, which has been available since mid-November, was a major success: in the first two weeks of sales, 677 vehicles were delivered.

For the year to the end of November, global sales of BMW brand vehicles totalled 1,105,112 units, down 3.5%.

Faced with ongoing consumer reticence in key sales markets, the Mini brand also delivered 20.8% fewer vehicles last month versus the previous year, to 15,103 units.

The company said that this was mainly due to the model change for the Mini convertible which ceased production in August. The redesigned line will be launched late next March.

Globally, Mini grew 7.6% year on year between January and November 2008 to 217,405 cars.

Rolls-Royce sales were 18.5% lower at 110 vehicles in November. In the first eleven months of the year 1,055 vehicles were delivered, up 28.5%.