From BMW Group Press:

Record sales levels were achieved for the MINI brand, both in the first quarter 2005 and monthly. In March, the 20,000 mark was passed for the first time in a single month, with 22,130 vehicles sold (previous year: 19,740/+12.1%). The convertible variant, with 5,389 units sold, accounts for about a quarter of the total sales volume. omparing sales by country, the MINI home country – the United Kingdom – is still the undisputed leader, with 7,244 MINI cars sold in March, followed by the U.S. (4,127), Germany (2,755), Italy (2,004) and Japan (1,621).

This success is of course in starck contrast to Rover’s recent news. For those curious, current parent company BMW had another banner quarter as well:

The BMW Group increased its sales in the first quarter of 2005 by 8.2 percent to a new high of 292,207 automobiles (previous year: 269,974). The BMW brand deliveries to customers in the first three months rose by 7.8 percent to 239.387 vehicles (previous year: 222,087). MINI recorded an increase of 10.3 percent to 52,694 units (previous year: 47,774). Rolls-Royce Motor Cars delivered 126 Phantoms to customers (previous year: 139/-9.4 percent).

Germany and the USA were neck and neck in the first quarter, with 65,680 (previous year: 60,462/+8.6 percent) and 65,536 (previous year: 61,241/+7.0 percent) cars sold respectively. Examples of countries with well above average growth are Portugal with a rise of 43.9 percent to 1,973 units (previous year: 1,371), Russia at 44.4 percent (1,350/previous year: 935) and the African/Caribbean region with a rise of 22.6 percent (6,965/previous year: 5,680).

Dr. Michael Ganal, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing, said: “All over the world, the BMW Group has developed far better in the first quarter than its relevant competitors. This means that we have further expanded our position in the premium segment. We achieved this improvement even though the BMW 3 Series is in the model changeover phase.”

The BMW Group has also achieved a record volume on a monthly basis. March 2005 was the best-ever sales month for the BMW Group, with 127,093 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce cars sold. This is a rise of 7.9 percent over the same month last year (117,826).

The BMW brand increased sales in March by 7 percent to 104,909 vehicles (previous year: 98,037) – which is also a new high. The entire model range was responsible for this success.

Since the world launch of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan on March 5, 6,444 units have already been delivered. The BMW 3 Series is the world’s best-selling premium automobile of its class. All the indications are that the new 3 Series Sedan will help to consolidate this position still further. The BMW Series is due to go on sale in the U.S. on May 7.