Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 13:40 UK

BMW's sales decline slows in May

BMW car
The figures include BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce branded vehicles

BMW sold 109,042 vehicles in May, which was down 18.3% from the same month last year, but an improvement on the 24% decline reported in April.

"I am cautiously optimistic that our global sales figures will continue to improve over the course of the year," said marketing chief Ian Robertson.

But the improvement may be a false dawn, as it was when BMW's sales fell 17% in March before April's 24% fall.

Also on Monday, Audi reported a 6% fall in sales in May to 82,800 vehicles.

The luxury unit of Volkswagen said it was still seeing growth in the Asia Pacific region, with sales in China growing 28% in the month.

Increased share

BMW's figures include sales of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce branded cars.

In the first five months of the year, BMW sales fell 21.1% from the same period last year to 487,906 vehicles.

"We were able to increase our market share in the premium segment in major markets such as the US and Japan over the previous month," Mr Robertson said.

"That puts us right on track to maintain our position as the world's number one premium manufacturer in terms of sales volume in 2009."

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