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BMW says sales up nearly 11 percent in 2012

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January 10, 2013 05:41 AM EST | AP

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BERLIN — Automaker BMW AG says its worldwide sales rose nearly 11 percent to a new record last year, helped by strong demand in China and the U.S. for its luxury cars.

The company said Thursday the BMW Group – which also includes the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands – delivered 1.85 million vehicles last year. In December, it delivered 181,571 cars – nearly 15 percent more than a year earlier.

Full-year sales in Asia increased by nearly a third, with deliveries in China increasing 40 percent to 326,444. In the United States, sales rose 14 percent to 347,583.

The picture was less rosy in economically troubled Europe but BMW still saw its sales there edge up 0.8 percent to 864,812.

Rival premium brand Mercedes-Benz has also reported record sales for 2012.