[MUNICH] Audi was the world's biggest seller of luxury cars in April, edging out BMW AG's namesake brand and fast-growing Mercedes-Benz.
Bolstered by US demand for the Audi Q5 and Q7 sport utility vehicles, the Volkswagen AG unit's deliveries rose 2.5 per cent to 152,850 cars last month, compared with BMW's 5.6 per cent increase to 148,896 autos. Daimler AG's Mercedes remained the fastest growing of the world's three biggest luxury-car brands, posting an 11 per cent gain to 148,072 cars.
BMW has vowed to defend its annual lead in global premium car sales, even as key models such as the 7-Series sedan age. The three German luxury-car brands are adding all-new models to widen their appeal and gain an edge over rivals. BMW is rolling out the van-like Gran Tourer this year, and Mercedes plans a pickup truck by the end of the decade.
Through the first four months of 2015, BMW held onto its No 1 ranking, with sales up 5.5 per cent to 600,473 cars. Audi's deliveries increased 5.2 per cent to 591,050 vehicles, while Mercedes demand jumped 14 per cent to 577,674 autos.
"Despite the upcoming generation changes in key model families and sales markets, we have surpassed the record figures of the previous year," Luca de Meo, Audi's head of marketing and sales, said in a statement. "In the coming months, we intend to continue growing worldwide."