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The math in thenew vehicle market keeps getting better for consumers, particularly if they'relook for an upscale German car.

All of the Germanluxury car brands keep rolling out new products that they think will substantiallyraise their volumes and their market share, even though the overall luxury carmarket is staying flat or even shrinking and there's no rational expectation ofthis changing anytime soon.

Despite the factthat every German luxury brand on the Canadian market (except Porsche) added anew model (i.e. something they weren't selling before) to their lineups in thepast 12 months, almost all of their car sales fell in October and all of theslight gains for the first 10 months are due to growth in their SUV business.

If you look backtwo years, to the end of October, 2002, it's even easier to see how some ofthem aren't progressing that much at all, or are actually worse off.

Audi sales wereoff 26.2 percent in October, bringing 2004's total sales volume down 3.8 percent,the new A8 and A6 notwithstanding. VW's upscale brand is however is still upconsiderably from where it was in 2002.

BMW car salesfell 12.3 percent in October, which resulted in a sales boost of only fourunits from 2003, despite the introduction of the 6-Series models. If you lookfarther back, BMW Canada sold only 32 more BMW cars in the first 10 months of2004 than it did in the same period in 2002, despite the launch of a new5-Series.

In the samemonth, sales of the Mini brand were off 17.0 percent despite the introductionof the convertible model, which gives the brand a growth rate of 8.0 over thefirst 10 months 0f 2004, compared with a growth rate of 26.8 percent from 2002to 2003.

When one combinesthe two car lines (as BMW Canada likes to do), it leaves the BMW Car Group witha 13.5 drop in sales in October and a growth rate of just 1.5 percent for theyear-to-date. A year ago, the BMW Car Group registered an increase of 4.3percent for the first 10 months, mostly on the strength of the newly-releasedMini.

In the last twoyears, therefore, BMW Car Group sales have gone up about 6 percent, though thisis the firm that is promising to double its sales in the next two or threeyears from where it was in 2002.

Mercedes-Benzmay be in the worst trouble at the moment, since its total sales of cars andtrucks went down 24.9 percent in October, for an overall drop of 10 percent forthe year-to-date, and those numbers include the sale of 293 Smart models. Inthe last two years, Mercedes-BenzCanada's sales (includingSmart) are down 7.8 percent.

Most of thatdrop is the result of falling car sales, which were down 35.0 percent inOctober and 12.5 percent for the year. Sales of the German firm's SUVs were up 10.6percent in October, but are still off 7.1 for the year.

Porscheregistered an 3.7 percent increase in October, entirely on the strength ofcontinuing demand for the Cayenne SUV. While Cayenne sales were up 32.1 percent in Octoberand 38.4 percent for the year, sales of the 911 and Boxster were off 35.1percent, or 12.9 percent for the year. Those numbers may start to turn aroundnow that the new 911 is here, along with a substantially revised Boxster.