Falling stock prices and global economic worries will not stall the growing demand for luxury cars and light trucks over the next decade, the new chairman of BMW AG said Aug. 5, according to the Detroit News. In his first U.S. speech since being named BMW chairman in May, Helmut Panke predicted that worldwide demand for premium brands will grow twice as fast as mass-market segments over the next 10 years. "The first half of 2002 confirms that the demand for premium segment automobiles has developed more strongly than the market as a whole," Panke said in a speech to the Automotive Press Association at the Detroit Athletic Club. The German automaker is on track to sell more than 1 million vehicles this year, and Panke said BMW expects its global sales to grow to 1.3 million over the next six years, according to the News.