Source: BMW.

Now in its sixth generation, BMW's 3-Series is often the purchase that leads to lifelong customer loyalty. The model's strong recent sales growth bodes well for BMW's future. 

BMW (NASDAQOTH:BAMXF) is the world's luxury-car sales leader -- a title that the proud German company is determined to keep. But it won't be simple: Archrivals Daimler (NASDAQOTH:DDAIF) and Volkswagen (NASDAQOTH:VWAGY), owners of the Mercedes-Benz and Audi brands, respectively, have set their sights on BMW's lead. Both have vowed to surpass BMW and take the sales crown by 2020.

Those aren't the only threats to BMW. Well-funded giants like General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Nissan (NASDAQOTH:NSANY) have made massive commitments to expanding their luxury brands, aiming to take their own large slices of BMW's pie. And ever-tightening emissions regulations have put all automakers under pressure, and smaller companies like BMW are disproportionately feeling the pain.

BMW's managers are spending big to stay ahead of all of these threats. That spending has been enabled by BMW's continued strong sales. In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear checks in with BMW's recent sales reports and looks at where the company is finding growth and opportunities to stay ahead of the pack.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of General Motors. You can connect with him on Twitter at @jrosevearThe Motley Fool recommends BMW and General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.