An interesting article was posted on Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago. The main topic was the BMW and VW’s plans to expand their market share in the US, riding on the decline of the three large US automakers.
But the following question arises: is BMW NA changing course yet again in the U.S.? The Wall Street Journal article quotes BMW NA CEO Jim O’Donnell as saying the U.S. “will be the growth engine of the future. This is where we will continue to focus our efforts.” See what Jonathan Spira had to say about this apparent change of plans.
Spira also found another oddity: The Journal‘s Kate Linebaugh (indirectly quoting O’Donnell) wrote that “BMW expects to gain share after it launches the new 1 Series small car in the U.S., a type of vehicle it hadn’t offered previously”—apparently unaware that the 1 Series has been sold in the U.S. for quite some time. As of the end of November—the last period for which BMW reported sales—BMW NA had sold over 11,000 1 Series vehicles in the U.S.
BMW is counting on the 1 Series sales and Mini to increase their market, and this year, it will add about 10 dealerships in cities around the country such as Raleigh, N.C., and Birmingham, Ala. Chicago, a fertile market for sporty small cars, doesn’t have a Mini dealer in its downtown.