BMW, the world’s leading luxury carmaker, said Tuesday that global sales raced ahead in July as strong demand in China offset a slump in crisis-hit Europe. Munich-based BMW said total sales of its stable of brands, including its flagship BMW, compact Mini and top-of-the-range Rolls-Royce, rose to 135,537 last month – a rise of 5 per cent compared with the same month last year. In particular, the group’s sales were underpinned by a 4.2-per-cent jump in BMW brand sales. “We’re confident that we will continue to make solid gains throughout the second half of the year,” said BMW sales chief Ian Robertson. The company is gearing up to roll out updated models in the coming months. While group sales in July rose by 22.5 per cent in China, sales slumped 2.4 per cent in Europe, where the region’s debt crisis has undercut demand. Global group sales during the first seven months of the year jumped 7.6 per cent to 1.036 million, BMW said.