FRANKFURT (AP) -- German automakers Daimler and BMW said a reluctance by consumers to spend on luxury autos trimmed first quarter sales -- but Porsche reported an increase in Germany.
Munich-based carmaker BMW AG on Tuesday said its first-quarter sales worldwide fell 21 percent while rival Daimler AG said its own sales in the January-March period fell by around 23 percent.
BMW, whose brands include Mini, Rolls-Royce and BMW, said sales in the first three months of the year totaled 277,264 compared with 351,787 a year earlier.
The drop was evident among all its brands. Sales of BMW-branded cars and SUVs were down 20.5 percent; Mini sales were down nearly 25 percent; and Rolls-Royce, which sold 174 cars, saw sales down nearly 5 percent from last year when it sold 183 cars.
The declines came in nearly every region for BMW, including the U.S., Germany, the rest of Europe and Russia. But sales to China, India and Brazil -- key emerging markets -- rose by nearly 14 percent with 16,580 cars sold compared with 14,574 a year earlier.
For March, global sales were down 17.2 percent
Stuttgart-based Daimler said first-quarter sales fell about 23 percent with demand for its Mercedes-Benz brand slipping as well as sales of its ubiquitous two-seat Smart car.
The company said the group sold 244,800 cars from January-March compared with nearly 318,000 cars a year earlier.
The Mercedes-Benz brand had sales of 216,000 cars in the January-March period, a 25 percent decline from more than 270,000 cars sold in first three months of 2008. Smart sales fell half a percent to 28,800 from 28,900 for the quarter.
The declines came in most of it keys markets save for China, where demand continued to grow.
Porsche, also based in Stuttgart, reported a gain in sales in Germany, driven in part by demand for its two-seat Boxster and Cayman models. It did not provide a breakdown of its global sales.
The maker of the 911 and Cayenne sport utility vehicle said orders in Germany rose 14.5 percent to 3,497 vehicles in the January-March period compared with 3,050 a year earlier.
The company is set to introduce its 911 GT3 in May and its new four-seat Gran Turismo Panamera in September.
Despite the gain in Germany, shares of Porsche Automobil Holding SE were down 4 percent to euro42.80 ($57.35). Shares of Daimler were 2.3 percent lower at euro22.41 and shares of BMW were flat at euro23.92. All three companies are traded in Frankfurt.