By Friedrich Geiger
BERLIN--BMW AG's sales fell behind those of rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi AG, making the race among the three German luxury car brands for the top spot increasingly tight.
BMW delivered 142,154 cars of the namesake, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands to customers, a 7.0% increase on the year. Deliveries of the BMW brand increased 6.3% to 124,561 cars. Sales of the X5 sports utility increased significantly and demand for the new 4 Series vehicles remained strong, the company said.
Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz brand rose almost 14% in January to 125,865 cars. Those of Volkswagen AG's Audi unit increased 10% to 137,700. Daimler and Audi both aim to become the world leader of luxury car sales, a position which BMW has held in recent years.
BMW group sales increased in almost all regions amid a strategy of balanced sales growth across the globe.
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