German car maker BMW reinforced its claim to be the world's leading premium auto maker ahead of Audi and Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, after releasing figures for May on Wednesday.
BMW, which also owns the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, said it delivered a total of 147,563 vehicles last month, for an annualized gain of 21 percent.
Sales of BMW's own brand marques were 19 percent higher at 121,168, placing it ahead of Audi, which reported sales of 113,400 for a gain of 19.5 percent on the year.
Mercedes sold 108,766 autos in May, a gain of 7.3 percent.
BMW sales director Ian Robertson said "we are well on course to maintain our position as the world leading manufacturer of premium vehicles throughout 2011."
The group expects to set a new sales record this year of more than 1.5 million automobiles.
Germany, the United States and China represent BMW's main markets, although sales are increasing steadily in Brazil, which turned in a 12-month gain of 57.3 percent, Russia was up 58.3 percent and India soared 160.9 percent.
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