SUVs help BMW to record 2016 sales year

Markets Associated Press

Luxury carmaker BMW AG had a record sales year in 2016, delivering 5.3 percent more vehicles as its line of SUVs boosted results despite declining sales in the U.S.

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Sales rose to 2.37 million for the company, which besides BMWs, makes Mini and Rolls-Royce cars. Important markets were China, where sales rose 11 percent, and Europe.

The company credited strong demand for sport-utility vehicles. It said one in three vehicles sold belonged to its X family of SUVs.

U.S. sales fell 10 percent due to "an exceptionally competitive market environment."

The company sold 62,000 electric vehicles and aimed to raise that to 100,000 in 2017. Carmakers have invested billions in developing electric-powered vehicles but they remain a niche product in most places due to higher costs and limited range.