BMW keeps luxury sales crown, beats rivals in December

BERLIN (Reuters) — BMW outsold Audi and Mercedes-Benz in December to round off a 10th year as global luxury car-sales champion but its two German rivals have reduced its advantage.

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Deliveries by BMW’s core brand jumped 14 percent last month to 177,954 cars. That took full-year sales to a record 1.81 million, up 10 percent, the company said in a statement today, citing strong demand in China and the United States. Continue reading

BMW expects high conquest rate for 2-series Active Tourer

SOELDEN, Austria — BMW expects that three out of every four buyers of its 2-series Active Tourer minivan will be new to the brand.

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The 2-series Active Tourer has BMW’s trademark kidney grille flanked by twin circular headlights. The front and rear overhangs are very short.

The model is the first modern era front-wheel-drive BMW, breaking with a tradition for rear-wheel-drive cars that the brand has long considered part of its identity.

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BMW open to sharing battery technology with rivals

ULSAN, South Korea — To gain economies of scale, BMW is open to sharing with rival automakers the electric-vehicle battery cell technology it co-developed with Samsung SDI.

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BMW will buy more battery packs from Samsung SDI for cars such as the i8 sports coupe. The all-wheel-drive i8 has a rear-mounted 228-hp 1.5-liter gasoline engine and front-mounted electric motor . Total power is 357hp.

BMW purchasing boss Klaus Draeger said sharing the technology would reduce the cost of the battery cells — the most expensive part of an electric vehicle.

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