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BMW sees record sales thanks to China demand

German luxury carmaker BMW has posted record quarterly sales for the first three months of the year, a period in which it sold more cars in China than in the US for the first time.

Overall sales hit 425,528 vehicles, a rise of 11.2% on a year earlier, with the BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini brands all reporting record sales.

The company sold 80,014 cars in China, 37% more than a year ago.

BMW said it expected record sales to continue throughout this year.

"The BMW Group achieved an all-time high in sales last month and the best quarter in its history," said sales boss Ian Robertson.

The carmaker is due to publish its first quarter financial results on 3 May.

In 2011, BMW profits jumped by 51% to 4.9bn euros ($6.4bn; £4bn).

On Tuesday, rival Audi, which is owned by Volkswagen, said it had sold 346,100 cars in the first quarter, an increase of 10.8% on a year earlier.

BBC News

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