BMW chief executive Helmut Panke told a press conference at the Paris motor show that, according to provisional figures, the Munich-based car maker expects to increase year to date deliveries to the end of September by “more than 8%” to “more than 880,000” units.

Catering to his audience, Panke noted that France, accounting for more than 42,700 deliveries last year, was the BMW group brands’ sixth-largest single market worldwide. “With the overall French market showing a decline of 2% so far this year, we are more than 9% over the last year in September year-to-date.”

Panke said the BMW brand had maintained its strength in the global market, with customer deliveries worldwide expected to be about 740,000 by the end of September – over 9% ahead of last year.

Mini deliveries will amount to approximately 140,000 units year to date by the end of this month, placing the brand over 3% above its nine month total in 2003.

“We are very satisfied with Rolls-Royce,” asserted Panke, adding that deliveries in the first nine months of this year will be “in the region of 500 units”.

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“This means that in these nine months alone we have already sold far more Rolls-Royces than throughout the whole of last year,” he said.

“Looking at these latest extrapolations, I restate that the BMW Group anticipates new records in retail, revenues and profits for the overall 2004 year of business. 2004 will be another record year for the BMW Group.”