BMW underlined its position as the world's biggest producer of luxury cars with a near-ten per cent rise in sales last month.
The Munich-based group, which makes the Mini at Oxford and Rolls-Royces at Goodwood, also extended its lead over Mercedes-Benz.
Its strong performance in November was fuelled by brisk demand for its recently relaunched 3-Series saloon, figures showed yesterday .
Sales of 114,044 cars last month, a rise of 9.5 per cent, put year-to-date deliveries above BMW's level for all of 2004 and reinforced its superiority over DaimlerChrysler's premium division.
"We can already predict that we will be the most successful supplier in the premium segment worldwide for 2005 as a whole," said BMW sales and marketing chief Michael Ganal.
"We are growing more quickly than our relevant competitors."
Deliveries of its core BMWbrand cars rose by 10.4 per cent to 98,788 vehicles last month compared to the same period last year.
Mini sales grew 3.7 per cent to 15,171 cars and 85 Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury cars were delivered to customers, a rise of 6.3 per cent.
For the first 11 months, group sales rose by 10.8 per cent to 1,211,177 cars, keeping BMW well on track to hit its forecast for unit sales to grow at a high-single-digit rate in
Mercedes said unit sales rose by 1.2 per cent in the first 11 months to 1,094,500 Mercedes-Benz and Smart brand cars. It did not break out a separate number for its luxury Mayback limousine brand.
BMW brand sales in the first 11 months totalled
1.02 million cars, leading Mercedes-Benz at 961,600.
In the battle of chic, small urban cars, Mini brand sales topped 190,000 while Daimler's snub-nosed Smart was just shy of 133,000 sales.
0.7 per cent.
The flagship Mercedes-Benz brand has regained sales momentum with a new generation of engines plus solid demand for the A-Class small car and for new models launched this year, including the M-Class offroader and the smaller B-Class.
Mercedes- Benz sales totalled 93,500 units in November, bringing 11-month sales to 961,600 vehicles, up
Roughly 46,500 customers have bought a Mercedes-Benz B-Class since the model hit the European market in June, the company said, while November deliveries of the M-Class rose 70 per cent to about 9,200 units.
"In western Europe, MClass sales rose to a record of about 4,700 units, making the Mercedes- Benz premium offroader the best-selling vehicle in its class in western Europe," the company said in a statement.
It forecast another boost from its top-line S-Class executive car, which made its debut in September. S-Class deliveries rose by 44 per cent in November to 5,900 units.
Sales at Audi, the premium arm of VW, grew by 8.8 per cent to nearly 767,000 unit sales in the first 11 months of the year.
BMW credited its 3-Series as the driving force behind its growth spurt. Launched in March, it has already generated more than 200,000 unit sales, 38 per cent more than its predecessor model in the same time period, BMW said.