BMW has best March sales ever; demand for South Carolina-made X5s jump 12%

BMW X5s wait to be shipped overseas from the Columbus Street Terminal in Charleston last year.

German automaker BMW says it had its best March sales ever.

The Munich-based maker of the 3-Series sedan and X5 sport-utility said Tuesday it sold 195,593 vehicles worldwide under the BMW brand.

That was an increase of 5.1 percent over the same month a year ago.

The company said sales rose for its X-family of SUVs and SUV-like crossovers. The X5, made at the company’s manufacturing facility in Spartanburg County saw sales numbers rise 12 percent. Many of the Greer-made vehicles are exported through Charleston.

The company also saw strong demand for its 2-Series family van.

After the March figures, BMW AG held its sales lead during the first quarter over its rival German luxury carmakers, Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand and Mercedes-Benz from Daimler AG. BMW sold 451,576 vehicles to 438,250 for Audi and 429,602 for Mercedes-Benz.