Frankfurt: German luxury car maker BMW reported Tuesday a sharp drop in March sales but pointed to encouraging signs in the United States and Germany, its two biggest markets.
BMW said it sold 126,375 vehicles last month, a drop of 17.2% from March 2008. Sales of the BMW and Mini brands fell 17% and 18.5%, respectively.
“We have observed some encouraging signs in important markets like the United States and Germany but it is too early to speak of a turnaround in the trend at a global level,” sales director Ian Robertson said in a statement.
US sales fell by less than the market as a whole while in Germany the drop was limited to 1.1% owing to rising deliveries of Minis and its new convertible model.
In emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil, BMW sales gained between 12 and 15%.
For the first quarter of 2009 as a whole, sales at the entire BMW group were down 21.1% to 277,264 vehicles.