German luxury automakers shrugged off the impact of the smouldering eurozone debt crisis and posted record sales in 2012, with sales champion BMW predicting on Thursay another bumper year in 2013.
"We enter the new year with positive momentum and despite the prevailing headwinds in some markets, we aim to achieve another record year in sales in 2013," BMW head of sales and marketing Ian Robertson said in a release.
BMW beat its rivals in 2012 as the world's top-selling luxury automaker with a new sales record of 1.54 million BMW brand vehicles thanks to strong demand for its 1-series and 3-series.
Taking into account of MINI and Rolls-Royce, BMW global sales posted an 11 percent year-on-year increase and reached a record 1.85 million vehicles, according to Automotive News Europe.
Unlike its competitors who face slack demand and capacity cut, BMW focuses on luxury end of the market, which is less affected by recession and yields higher profit.
BMW was followed by Audi, the Volkswagen Group subsidiary, with global annual sales of 1.45 million vehicles, an 11.7 percent growth. Daimler's Mercedes-Benz came in third with a global sales volume of 1.32 million vehicles, a 4.7 percent year-on-year growth.
Top German luxury brand's record sales owed much to strong demands in North America and Asia, especially China.
For instance, BMW sales in Europe marked only a small increase of 0.8 percent in the first nine months of 2012. However, BMW sales in China during the nine-month period surged by 33.3 percent to 237,650 units. The Munich-based firm reportedly plans to increase sales in China by more than 10 percent in 2013.
In China, Audi's top market, the brand's total annual sales reached record 405,838 vehicles, a growth of 30 percent, while its sales volume in the United States rose 19 percent to 139,310 vehicles, local media reported.
Both Audi and Mercedes have claimed the goal of becoming the world's top-selling luxury automaker by 2020.