By David Urani
Say what you want about the economy, but it seems like the well-off crowd is still living it up these days as illustrated by some of the world's luxury car makers. As it turns out a few high end automakers, BMW (BAMXY), Mercedes (DDAIY) and Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF), just posted record sales results in March. Of course, this speaks well for the fat cats of the world but also for the rebound in the European economy as well as China's swelling mid-upper class.
BMW's March sales were up 11% year-over-year to a record high 212,908 units (BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands). It was also a record Q1 after a 9% increase year-over-year. Audi's March sales were up 15% year over year to a record 170,450 cars. Mercedes's sales were up 13% in March to 158,523 cars, ending a record Q1 that was up 15% to 374,276 units. These companies' results are telling too, as the three brands make up almost 80% of the global premium auto market.
Business is also going so well for Ferrari that the company announced today it will be giving an extra $5,650 bonus to all of its employees after record 2013 profits. Ferrari says its financial position is the best it has ever been. Porsche (OTCPK:POAHY) also recently proclaimed that it will sell 200,000 cars in 2015, a benchmark that is three years ahead of its previous schedule. And it's not just the speed demons, but the sophisticated ultra-luxury crowd getting their fill as well, as Bentley is coming off a record 2013 with a 17% increase in Q1 sales at 2,580 units.