PEABODY, Mass., April 25 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — At the beginning of the year, the BMW Group made the bold prediction that it would sell more than 1.5 million vehicles in 2011. With the first quarter now in the books, the company’s prediction for a record-breaking year may be on the money. Globally, the BMW Group sold more vehicles in March than ever before, while sales at U.S. BMW dealers like BMW of Peabody rose 12.4 percent over March 2010, good for an increase of 13.6 percent for the first quarter on a year-over-year basis.

While it may not be surprising that the popular BMW 3 Series led U.S. sales in March, the recently revamped BMW 5 Series made a statement last month when its sales rose 55.6 percent compared to March 2010. Customers have responded to the new, intelligent features of the sixth-generation 5 Series, including its Adaptive Drive and EfficientDynamics technologies for refined steering, handling and braking, and its innovative driver-assistance systems, which includes Parking Assistant, Frontal Collision Warning and Top View cameras.

“With the economy improving and a variety of new BMW models catching the eyes of luxury drivers, we’re seeing ideal conditions for sales right now,” said Marshal Cabot, general manager of Massachusetts BMW dealer BMW of Peabody. “A couple of years ago, 1.5 million global vehicle sales would have been out of the question, but BMW is already envisioning even bigger sales numbers. Here in Massachusetts, we’re not seeing any letup in buyer interest.”

Generating convincing evidence that it is the hottest BMW vehicle at the moment, the new BMW X3 SAV saw its sales increase by nearly 270 percent last month. These March numbers put the BMW X3 in third place among BMW-branded vehicles, and they come off the heels of the X3′s “Off-Roader of the Year” award from Off-Road Magazine in February. Meanwhile, the 7 Series, featuring much of the same new architecture as the 5 Series, saw an impressive 40 percent increase last month.

Adding to BMW’s current momentum is news about the company’s future expansion plans. The automaker recently launched its “i” sub-brand, which will feature sustainable vehicles that are “good for us” and “good for our planet.” To strengthen its focus on “born electric” vehicles, the BMW i line will draw upon the knowledge of Frank Weber, lead engineer of the 2011 Chevy Volt team, for vehicle development.

The first two vehicles from the BMW i sub-brand will be the BMW i3 and the BMW i8, with both expected to launch in 2013. While the all-electric i3 will cater to city dwellers with short commutes in heavy traffic, the plug-in hybrid i8 will combine BMW’s legendary high performance with fuel economy that is kinder to the wallet and lower emissions for guilt-free driving. Customers can expect to see additional BMW i vehicles on the way as well, with research currently being conducted on range-extended EVs.

“The launch of the BMW i lineup signals a turning point for the entire electric vehicle market,” Cabot added. “We’re talking about the world’s number-one luxury vehicle brand fully committing to building electric vehicles that must live up to the company’s reputation. That’s not just good news for BMW customers, it’s good news for the everyone that wants EVs to succeed.”

About BMW of Peabody:
Located minutes from downtown Boston on Route 114, BMW of Peabody takes pride in offering some of the world’s finest vehicles, and backing up every new and used BMW sale with their expert, customer-focused sales and service staff. Recognized as a top Greater Boston BMW dealer, BMW of Peabody is a five-time winner of the prestigious Center of Excellence Award and offers two BMW service centers to fit the schedules of its busy customers. See their full BMW inventory online at, like them on Facebook at, visit their showroom at 221 Andover Street in Peabody or call them at 978-538-9900.