The competition for sales between the big three German premium brands is heating up but BMW still remains ahead of rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

For November 2010, BMW Group's global sales were 129,014 units - a 20 percent rise over the same month last year. BMW outsold its closest competitor Mercedes-Benz by more than 15,000 units. Mercedes-Benz global sales were 112,300 units while the VW Group's Audi brand were 87,050. BMW benefited from having a new 5-series and the all-new X1 and MINI Countryman models to offer its customers.

Those total sales figures include the MINI and Rolls-Royce brands, which belong to BMW Group, and Mercedes-Benz's Smart unit.

All three German premium brands are seeing rising sales for 2010. Much of that is due to a rebounding auto market in the United States and continued growth in China.

For Audi, which plans to overtake the BMW brand in sales by 2015 by selling 1.5 million units that year, the news was good too. Audi sold more cars in the first 11 months of 2010, a 15 percent rise over 2009, than it did in its best year of 2008 and is on its way to a new record.

But the BMW brand, on its own, still leads the pack. For the first 11-months of 2010 it sold 1.11 million units compared to the Mercedes-Benz brand's 1.06 million and Audi's 1,003,900.

Got a tip for us? Email: