Test programme with the BMW M6 GT3.

Last week saw the BMW M6 GT3, which completed its first outing at the start of February, testing in Monteblanco. With BMW works drivers Lucas Luhr and Maxime Martin at the wheel, the engineers continued the extensive development programme with the...

Last week saw the BMW M6 GT3, which completed its first outing at the start of February, testing in Monteblanco.

With BMW works drivers Lucas Luhr and Maxime Martin at the wheel, the engineers continued the extensive development programme with the prototype of the GT racing car. In Portimão the first joint test involving all DTM manufacturers gets underway on Monday. The BMW M6 GT3 will also be on the track once again in Portugal. Dominik Baumann, Jens Klingmann, Jörg Müller and Luhr will take it in turns at the wheel of BMW’s new challenger in GT racing.

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2016 BMW M3 Facelift to get Competition Package and iDrive Upgrade

It has been only six months since the new BMW F80 M3 came to market and BMW seems to be already testing the facelifted version of the popular sedan. According to sources, the 2016 BMW M3 Facelift will get a series of upgrades, starting with an updat...

It has been only six months since the new BMW F80 M3 came to market and BMW seems to be already testing the facelifted version of the popular sedan. According to sources, the 2016 BMW M3 Facelift will get a series of upgrades, starting with an updated iDrive system which includes an online entertainment option. It’s still unclear whether the F80 M3 LCI will actually get the full updated iDrive system that will debut later this year in the 7 Series Sedan. Furthermore, customers will have the option to pick new wheels, the 20 inch style 666M. Inside the car, the F80 M3 Facelift will be offered with new interior trims. Likely the biggest update for the 2016 M3 Facelift is the Competition Package, but specifics are not available at the moment. With the F80 M3 having its design tied to the F82 M4, we expect the headlights to remain unchanged, but the rear-end of the F80 M3 sedan is likely to get the revised LED taillights. The F80 M3 LCI is expected to be unveiled this summer. The article 2016 BMW M3 Facelift to get Competition Package and iDrive Upgrade appeared first on BMW BLOG

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2015 Geneva Motor Show: Audi R8 V10, e-tron and LMS

Audi’s brand new R8 is stealing headlines at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The R8 will come in three different flavors; V10, V10 Plus and e-tron. But also on display is the Audi R8 LMS race car. While not a radical design change from the previous R8,...

Audi’s brand new R8 is stealing headlines at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The R8 will come in three different flavors; V10, V10 Plus and e-tron. But also on display is the Audi R8 LMS race car. While not a radical design change from the previous R8, it’s more of a small evolutionary step, the new R8 looks very good, indeed. The new R8 has much crisper, sharper lines than before and is lower and a bit wider. Though it isn’t too far a departure from the previous car, it still manages to look fresh and modern. It’s also still a very pretty car, very desirable. Audi nailed the design the first time and this new one is a perfect evolution.

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All R8s are considerably lighter than their predecessors, weighing in at just 3,205 lbs dry. The tricks behind all of this weight savings lie in the chassis. Based on the same chassis as in the Lamborghini Huracan, the R8’s Audi Space Frame Chassis is made out of aluminum and carbon fiber. It’s also 40 percent stiffer than the outgoing car.

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The interior is also new and improved, which the R8 so desperately needed. The previous R8 had to make due with Audi’s ancient, by modern standards, MMI system. This new R8 gets a 12.3 inch display which replaces the gauges, ala the new TT. The R8’s, however, can display performance data, such as g-forces, horsepower, torque and a shift indicator. Fancy.

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Performance comes in three different flavors. The ‘regular’ V10 R8 packs a revised version of the previous R8’s 5.2 liter V10 which produces 532 horsepower. The V10 Plus uses the same V10 just on steroids to give it a whopping 602 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. Both versions are only available with Audi’s 7-Speed, dual-clutch, S-Tronic gearbox. No manual will be offered in the new R8. A shame, since the old one, with its gated shifter, was one of the last great manual sports cars. But this new S-Tronic box is one of the best in the business, so no harm there. Performance figures for the new R8 V10 Plus are 0-60 in 3.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 205 mph, which are extremely similar to its Italian cousin, the Huracan. Audi R8 e-tron

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Other big news for the R8 is the announcement of the e-tron. While such a car was rumored quite some time ago, it was never actually slated for production. However, with this new model, the e-eron will be available to purchase by a select, lucky few. The e-tron distinguishes itself from its gasoline powered twin with a new face, adorned with aluminum accents, and some flashy wheels. The e-tron will be rear-wheel drive only, for efficiency reason, and will be powered by a pair of rear-mounted electric motors producing 456 hp and 678 lb-ft of torque. The motors will get power from a 92 kWh battery which is claimed to give the car a 280 mile range.

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That’ll make the Tesla Model S blush, and it gets even better with a claimed two hour charge time, on a fast-charge DC charger. Expect performance figures, similar to the BMW i8’s, of 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and a top speed limited to 130 or 155 mph. READ ALSO: Is the BMW i8 a worthy competitor to Audi R8? The e-tron will be very exclusive and made to order. There will be no e-trons on showroom floors. Audi claims that this e-tron is more of a test bed for future products and according to Audi will “help in creating a vehicle with sedan character”. To me, that says Audi is going to use the e-tron to help them make a Tesla fighter.

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Overall, the new R8 is a very exciting vehicle. The original is a favorite among many enthusiasts, so this new one has large shoes to fill. The e-tron is also an interesting rival to the BMW i8. Though the e-tron is all electric, compared to the hybrid i8, performance figures are similar and the i8 has a better range due to the fact that it can fill up with gas and keep going. It will be very interesting to see how the R8 stacks up against competition when it debuts. Tickle me excited.

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The article 2015 Geneva Motor Show: Audi R8 V10, e-tron and LMS appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW USA reports February 2015 sales. Up 14.5%

Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 14.5 percent in February for a total of 25,201 compared to 22,017 vehicles sold in February, 2014. “In spite of ferocious cold and mountains of snow in so much of the country in February, our customers proved ...

Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 14.5 percent in February for a total of 25,201 compared to 22,017 vehicles sold in February, 2014. “In spite of ferocious cold and mountains of snow in so much of the country in February, our customers proved they could overcome and made it possible for BMW to post a new record for February sales,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. “Improved availability of the always popular X5 and the strong and growing interest in our 2 and 4 Series cars are good indicators of what’s ahead.” To see and hear more of Ludwig Willisch’s perspective on the February sales, click here. In February, notable vehicles sales included the BMW i3 with sales of 1,089 vehicles, the BMW X5 increased 42.5 percent to 4,149 vehicles and BMW 6 series which increased 122.1 percent to 1,237 vehicles. BMW Group Sales The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported February sales of 28,921 vehicles, an increase of 18.2 percent from the 24,476 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago. BMW Pre-Owned Vehicles In February, sales of BMW used vehicles (including certified pre-owned) increased slightly, by 1.3 percent, to 15,157 vehicles compared to the 14,956 vehicles sold in February, 2014. MINI Brand Sales For February, MINI USA reports 3,720 automobiles sold, an increase of 51.3 percent from the 2,459 sold in the same month a year ago. MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles In February, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned) reported sales of 1,827 automobiles, a decrease of 2.6 percent from the 1,875 sold in February, 2014.

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February 2015 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales

Last month in January, the industry carved out the narrowest of gains finishing up just 6.7% over the year prior with an estimated 5,924 plug-in sales. It only gets harder in February, as 7,200-odd EVs were sold a year ago. Truth be told, with the cu...

Last month in January, the industry carved out the narrowest of gains finishing up just 6.7% over the year prior with an estimated 5,924 plug-in sales. It only gets harder in February, as 7,200-odd EVs were sold a year ago. Truth be told, with the current versions of the Chevrolet Volt and Prius PHV both being mostly abandoned (practically speaking) by their parent brands – who are looking ahead to the next generation of their plug-ins, we may not see any gains until mid-summer. Thankfully, BMW is picking up a lot of the slack with their new i3 – which sold more than a 1,000 units in one of the toughest months of the year to move a plug-in vehicle. While InsideEVs as a rule doesn’t make predictions on sales, we will go ahead and suspend that stance this month, as we can say with some confidence that the first half of EV sales in America will be flat to slightly higher, while the 2nd half will net huge gains. This article first appeared on InsideEVs

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Chevrolet Volt:

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What effect does the next generation Volt with a greater range and an expected cheaper entry price point have on current gen sales? How about adding in a whirlwind tour of the 2016 model across the United States (Detroit, Washington, Chicago, Las Vegas, etc) over the past 6 weeks? Why not throw in some current model neglect by GM with marketing and production? It resulted in just 693 sales, which was off 48% from 2014 when 1,210 were moved. (full article on the Volt`s February can be found here) The silver lining was that February’s result was actually a decent improvement over an abysmal January when 542 Volts were sold. A number that was off by 41% from last year when 918 were moved, and the lowest monthly total since August of 2011 for the extended range car. Looking at GM’s very low production level of 2015 MY Chevrolet Volts throughout 2014 and into 2015 it has become clear the company is looking ahead to the next generation launch of the car in the second half of the year. That being said, and despite the Volt’s Hamtramck, Michigan facility being closed a week this month for tooling, GM did raid 2015 MY Volt stock by about 30% before the month expired…only problem is that still equals less than 3,000 cars. Last year (2014) 18,805 cars were been sold – which was down 18.6% from 2013 when GM moved 20,702 Volts. This means that the Volt is the first electric vehicle to post two consecutive years of falling sales in America. Nissan LEAF:

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Sales of the LEAF rebounded slightly in February with 1,198 cars sold, but this result was still off 15.9% from a year ago. Nissan blamed the weather for the miss: “Tough winter weather in several key markets held EV sales back in February. As we head into spring, we look forward to seeing more dealership traffic so shoppers can experience firsthand the benefits of the all-electric Nissan LEAF.” – Brendan Jones, director, Nissan Electric Vehicle Sales and Infrastructure. Last month (January) and for the first time in almost 2 years, Nissan had a month one could consider a disappointment. The streak of 23 consecutive record monthly sales was snapped, as just 1,070 LEAFs were sold, off about 15% from January of 2014 when 1,252 were moved. Nissan’s Brendan Jones tried to explain the January slowdown as a function of December’s impressive 3,000+ sold result. “We saw a significant increase in demand in December from Nissan LEAF customers looking to take advantage of federal and state incentives at the end of the tax year, which pulled some sales ahead.” – Brendan Jones, director, Nissan Electric Vehicle Sales and Infrastructure In 2014, Nissan sold 30,200 LEAFs, which is a big 34% improvement over 2013, when 22,610 were sold. For some perspective on how high that 30,200 sales number is, the previous best was by the Chevrolet in 2013 with 23,094 Volts sold. An interesting “perk” of the January/February slowdown in plug-in sales is that Nissan has been able to expand national inventories to about 6,000 units – the highest level the company has yet to achieve in the United States. Of random interest: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that “more than 400 km (249 miles)” will be coming to the LEAF in just a “few years”. Important to note that this conversation took place in Japan where range ratings are wildly optimistic, however Mr. Ghosn was asked directly if the range will double – to which he replied “yes” while declining to add any further information. Cadillac ELR:

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Ain’t no stopping the ELR sales, with another 127 being moved in February, that is up 119% from February 2014 when just 58 were moved. The ELR was also a rare bright spot for EV sales in January too, as sales of the premium plug-in from Caddy improved 124% to 92 units during the month. Previously, in the best selling month of the year for EVs, 118 ELRs were moved a month ago in December, which is just about bang on with the year average. A lot of dealer-level discounting has turned the luxury Cadillac plug-in into a fairly decent seller recently, but that looks to slow now as inventory has been whittled down to a manageable 550-odd units heading into March. So when we said “ain’t no stopping the ELR sales” earlier, that was a lie…a thinning inventory will shortly affect sales of the premium plug-in Cadillac. Overall, 1,310 plug-in Cadillacs were sold in 2014. The all-time high for ELR sales came in August when 196 were sold. The inventory situation is fairy fixed thing, as GM decided to not build any 2015 ELRs to the numbers under control. The 2015 will be skipped in favor of the refreshed ELR. It should be noted the debut the 2016 ELR at the LA Auto Show was scrapped at the last minute in November, and now it has been scratched at the last minute in Geneva – where it had been expected to re-debut in March. The reason (at least for LA))? Its “autonomy” functions weren’t ready to go….which seems a little week considering no one expected the car to be driving around by itself on stage. As for its absence in Geneva next month, GM decided to just quietly remove it from all media all online media publications. Instead of the ‘next’ ELR debut in LA, we got an interview with new Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen, that could not have been more of a wet blanket, complete with the labeling of the brand “niche” and not a priority right now. BMW i3:

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“What the heck?” – is pretty much the only thing you can say when it comes to what BMW pulled off in February. Low inventory? Check. One of the worst months to sell an EV? Check. Terrible weather? Check. But none of that mattered, as BMW sold 1,089 i3s in February! Previously in January, BMW sold 670 i3s – fairly decent showing for the German plug-in. Despite the winter blahs, the company has now crossed into 4-digits in 5 of the last 7 months. The all-time high still stands at 1,159 from October. In 2014, BMW sold 6,092 i3s, good for the 7th best overall spot for plug-in sales in America…not bad considering it was only available for 7 full months in the US. Current owners got some good news in December as earlier, long standing issues surrounding the onboard chargers being muted to avoid failure incidents has now been rectified and BMW has a recall/repair bulletin out for owners to now get new units installed. 7.4 kW charges again for everyone! Still, details on the 2015 model year BMW i3 are out (details) and include some new creature comforts (heated seats for all models), DC fast charging across the range; as well as some product fixes (ala the keyfob). Looking at the inventory situation, national inventories grew for the second consecutive month averaging about 2,500 0 units in February…which for BMW, and its smaller dealer footprint compared to the larger OEMs, is close to the ideal amount. Tesla Model S:

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Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales (apparently because the public can’t handle the concept of regional allocations and delivery lead times)… so we never know for sure what the monthly numbers total up to until their quarterly updates, but we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening. Unlike other (like all) publications, we don’t simply take an expected number of sales for the Model S given by analysts for the quarter and then divide it by 3 to get a monthly number and hope it all works out…it just doesn’t work like that, even for the larger OEMs. We actually put in a little research/tracking effort into the estimated number of deliveries in the North America (and the world) and attempt to explain what is happening behind the scenes. (and so far, that has worked out pretty well) — For February, three distinct things happened for Tesla in regards to Model S sales: The ‘boat’ landed in Europe with late December/January production of P85Ds and deliveries of the car overseas officially got underway in mid-February. And by Europe, we really just mean Norway as the cars don’t have be dis-assembled, then re-assembled to get around pesky import duties. If you lived elsewhere in Europe (and not in the UK), as an early reservist, you can expect your P85D beginning this month (March). So if you are looking to peg international deliveries for Tesla in February, look for big things out of Norway, and pretty much no where else. And if you were looking for a RHD version of the “D” to arrive soon (UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia), you probably got bad news this month as there is apparently some technical snafu that will see those cars delayed until the second half of the year. For the US, another serious/ongoing round of P85D North American production got going in February and more ultra-high performance Tesla’s starting arriving in American hands mid-to-late in the month. More significantly, ‘regular’ AWD 85 kWh cars (or S85D if you will) started production in early February, slightly behind original forecasts. Early deliveries of the car seemed to be a little slower than normal (waiting on some QC checks we assume), but the first cars were moved out the 3rd week of the month before a lot more drifted onto consumer’s driveways the last week of the month. As seems to be the norm, the bulk of delivery promises made on the Model S (of all trim levels combined) this quarter from the company is for the last month of the quarter. Provided there is no plant (or software) hiccups, expect March to be a pretty decent month for Tesla Model S deliveries. Trailing data actually leads us to believe we undershot January’s result by couple hundred units, so we will be a little more aggressive estimating February in order to balance that out. InsideEVs estimates February deliveries in North America for Tesla at 1,150 units. The article February 2015 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Geneva 2015: BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car with water injection system

The 2015 season marks the 17th season of BMW M as “Official Car of MotoGP” and the BMW M4 [see Official Thread] will be serving as the safety car. This year’s safety car is fitted with a full array of M Performance Parts, and also ...

The 2015 season marks the 17th season of BMW M as “Official Car of MotoGP” and the BMW M4 [see Official Thread] will be serving as the safety car. This year’s safety car is fitted with a full array of M Performance Parts, and also features some new technology under the hood — a water injection system. The water injection system helps to lower temperatures in the combustion chamber, which helps prevent uncontrolled combustion (knock) and a loss in performance. In BMW’s words: cooler supercharged air reduces the engine’s tendency to knock, making it possible to bring the point of ignition forward and thus closer to the optimum value. This makes the combustion process more effective, whilst at the same time reducing the combustion temperature. On the other hand, cool air has a higher density which increases the oxygen content in the combustion chamber. This results in a higher mean pressure during the combustion process and in turn optimises performance and torque. Finally, the effective internal cooling of the combustion chamber reduces the thermal strain on numerous performance-related components. This not only prevents damage to pistons, exhaust valves and catalytic converters, but also reduces the strain on the turbocharger, which is subjected to lower exhaust temperatures. The lower process temperatures also reduce the formation of hazardous substances, in particular nitrogen oxide (NOX). Water injection consequently dramatically improves the effectiveness of the engine. BMW M has said that it will begin production of a model featuring water injection in the near future.

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Challenges ahead for the new BMW CEO Harald Krueger

With outgoing BMW CEO, Norbert Reithofer, handing the reigns of BMW over to new CEO, Harald Krueger, he’s also handing over a slew of new challenges. Reithofer spoke at the Geneva Auto Show, and told how Krueger will not only have to deal with the ...

With outgoing BMW CEO, Norbert Reithofer, handing the reigns of BMW over to new CEO, Harald Krueger, he’s also handing over a slew of new challenges. Reithofer spoke at the Geneva Auto Show, and told how Krueger will not only have to deal with the usual issues of oil and changing markets, but also issues such alternative fuel and automated vehicles. “Alternative drivetrains and networked and highly-automated cars will be the main challenges,” said Reithofer. He also spoke about some newcomers into the automotive field, specifically the automated vehicle field, Apple and Google. “Another topic will be new players entering the field of autonomous driving who have never built a car before.”

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Many of us scoffed at the idea of Apple or Google making an automated car, proclaiming the rumors to be nothing except just rumors. However, Reithofer seems to think otherwise. “The typewriter was replaced by the personal computer and many people underestimated that. For me the auto industry is not shielded from new entrants who have know-how in software and networked cars,” said Reithofer. Clearly, Krueger will have his hands full when he becomes in charge of BMW. The automotive landscape is changing dramatically, and quite quickly. These issues, of automation and connectivity, are new to the entire industry, not just BMW. So Krueger will have to hit the ground running. Fortunately for him, though, BMW already has some great alternative drivetrain technologies put in place, as well as the technology to make automated cars. The i Division is already a solid platform in which to build this new future.

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The man in charge of the MINI brand and a board member of BMW’s, Peter Schwarzenbauer, spoke with business website, Reuters about the new world of automotive technology and how it blends with the world of information technology. “Two worlds are colliding here. Our world, focused on hardware and our experience in making complex products, and the world of information technology which is intruding more and more into our life,” said Schwarzenbauer. It’s interesting to think where car companies, such as BMW that have so much advanced technology already, will be headed. The landscape is changing and the demands from customers are very different from what they were, even ten years ago. Krueger will have his work cut out for him, that’s for sure. The article Challenges ahead for the new BMW CEO Harald Krueger appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW Motorrad Picks Up 10 MOTORRAD Magazine Awards for 2015

BMW Motorrad wins in four of seven categories and celebrates a total of ten awards in the “Motorcycle of the Year 2015″ Readers’ Choice Award by the German magazine MOTORRAD. A total of 48,118 readers took part in the voting — w...

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BMW Motorrad wins in four of seven categories and celebrates a total of ten awards in the “Motorcycle of the Year 2015″ Readers’ Choice Award by the German magazine MOTORRAD. A total of 48,118 readers took part in the voting — well over half a million of readers have taken part in this vote since 1999.The award […]

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Geneva 2015: BMW 1 Series LCI Update

Also making its world public debut at the 2015 Geneva auto show is the F20/F21 1 Series LCI. Here are the highlights of the LCI update and our photos from the show. ...

Also making its world public debut at the 2015 Geneva auto show is the F20/F21 1 Series LCI. Here are the highlights of the LCI update and our photos from the show.

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February 2015: BMW USA Sales increase 14.5 percent

Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 14.5 percent in February for a total of 25,201 compared to 22,017 vehicles sold in February, 2014. “In spite of ferocious cold and mountains of snow in so much of the country in February, our customers proved t...

Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 14.5 percent in February for a total of 25,201 compared to 22,017 vehicles sold in February, 2014. “In spite of ferocious cold and mountains of snow in so much of the country in February, our customers proved they could overcome and made it possible for BMW to post a new record for February sales,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. “Improved availability of the always popular X5 and the strong and growing interest in our 2 and 4 Series cars are good indicators of what’s ahead.”

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In February, notable vehicles sales included the BMW i3 with sales of 1,089 vehicles, the BMW X5 increased 42.5 percent to 4,149 vehicles and BMW 6 series which increased 122.1 percent to 1,237 vehicles. BMW Group Sales The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported February sales of 28,921 vehicles, an increase of 18.2 percent from the 24,476 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago. BMW Pre-Owned Vehicles In February, sales of BMW used vehicles (including certified pre-owned) increased slightly, by 1.3 percent, to 15,157 vehicles compared to the 14,956 vehicles sold in February, 2014. MINI Brand Sales For February, MINI USA reports 3,720 automobiles sold, an increase of 51.3 percent from the 2,459 sold in the same month a year ago. MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles In February, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned) reported sales of 1,827 automobiles, a decrease of 2.6 percent from the 1,875 sold in February, 2014. Table 1: Vehicle Sales BMW of North America, LLC, February 2015 Feb. 2015 Feb. 2014 % YTD Feb. 2015 YTD Feb. 2014 % BMW brand 25,201 22,017 14.5 44,182 40,270 9.7 BMW passenger cars 17,059 15,458 10.4 30,656 27,876 10.0 BMW light trucks 8,142 6,559 24.1 13,526 12,394 9.1 MINI brand 3,720 2,459 51.3 6,948 5,002 38.9 TOTAL Group 28,921 24,476 18.2 51,130 45,272 12.9 BMW Motorrad Sales With adverse weather affecting many motorcycle markets, BMW Motorrad USA declined by 12% with 823 motorcycles sold compared to the 935 sold in February 2014. The R 1200 GS Adventure was the best performing model in the month with 142 deliveries, supported by growth from the R 1200 GS, up 11% with sales of 113 units compared to 102 in February 2014. Table 2: Motorcycle Sales BMW of North America, LLC, February 2015 Feb. 2015 Feb. 2014 % YTD 2015 YTD 2014 % BMW Motorcycles 823 935 -12.0 1,484 1,524 -2.8   The article February 2015: BMW USA Sales increase 14.5 percent appeared first on BMW BLOG

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