Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

BMW sales down but Mini sales up

Engine of a BMW 750Li
Sales of BMW-branded vehicles have fallen

BMW sales fell 4.3% in 2008 to 1.4 million, as falling demand for BMW-branded vehicles offset improved sales of its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands.

BMW said December was "marked by consumer reticence", with group sales falling by 26.4%, compared with the same month of 2007 of 112,423 vehicles.

Sales of the Rolls-Royce marque rose to 1,212 in 2008 from 1,010 in 2007.

The Mini brand also had a year of growth, with 2008 sales of 232,425, up 4.3% from the previous year.

"Overall we performed comparatively well with a 4.3% decrease," said marketing director Ian Robertson at BMW.

On Thursday, its rival Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz cars, reported a fall of sales of 2.8% in 2008 to 1.26 million.

The French carmaker Renault said on Friday that its sales had fallen 4.2% in 2008 but added that sales for the whole industry had been down by 4.8%.

US carmakers and manufacturers that make a high proportion of their sales in the US have been hit particularly hard by the downturn.

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