BMW Group says that worldwide sales – all brands – in September reached 118,173 units, some 15.1% ahead of last year (102,633 units). For the first nine months of the year sales reached 887,293 vehicles, 8.8% ahead of the same period in 2003.

The BMW brand recorded a rise in sales in September of 17.0% to 98,200 units – a monthly record boosted by the impact of the new 1 Series. Up to and including September, the BMW brand sales figure was 743,927 units – 9.7% ahead of the same period last year.

Dr. Michael Ganal, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for sales and marketing, said: “The new BMW 1 Series marked a major expansion of our model range in September. Initial customer reactions show that there is not only a demand for a premium vehicle in this segment. They have also, in particular, confirmed the assumption that the public would welcome with considerable interest the vehicle concept – unique in this class – of a rear-wheel drive, which gives greater priority to handling characteristics.”

BMW said that in just under two weeks some 5,654 units of the 1 Series have been delivered. The company is expecting to deliver at least 10,000 BMW 1 Series vehicles a month for the rest of the year.

Ganal also said: “We are assuming that the dynamic development of the first nine months of 2004 will continue in the fourth quarter too. This means that we will reach our target of increasing BMW Group sales on a yearly basis by a percentage in the high single-digit range.”