BEIJING: BMW's sales in China improved by 39% in the first quarter, compared with the overall increase in the national auto market of 24% – a success at least partly attributable to the rapid rate of growth in the burgeoning communist-capitalist economy.

The luxury car manufacturer sold 17,317 BMW and Mini models in the country (including Hong Kong) in the first quarter, with mainland sales rising by 43% to a total of 14,754.

Sales of its sedan models – including the 3-Series and 5-Series, which are made in China in conjunction with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings – increased by 41% to 13,851, while the number of Minis sold doubled to a more modest total of 723.

China's rapid economic growth is thought to have made luxury marques like BMW more affordable for many consumers, and Q1 marked the highest level of quarterly growth in the country's automotive market for seven months.

Data sourced from (Germany); additional content by WARC staff