The BMW Group increased sales by 13.8% percent in the first quarter: A total of 315,614 (prev. yr. 277,264) BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand automobiles were delivered to customers worldwide.
The company’s sales volumes rose 12.1% in March to reach a total of 141,701 (prev. yr. 126,381) vehicles. All three brands made strong gains: Sales of BMW brand vehicles climbed 12.7% to 117,696 (prev. yr. 104,423) units in the month under review. MINI delivered 23,880 vehicles in March (prev. yr. 21,888 / +9.1%), while Rolls-Royce automobiles were presented to 125 customers (prev. yr. 70 /+78.6%) last month.
Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing: “We are back on our growth track in nearly all the automobile markets. We had a good first quarter with a sales increase of 13.8%. We intend to continue improving on last year’s figures throughout the second quarter – thanks not least to the new BMW 5 Series Sedan and new models such as the 3 Series Coupé and Convertible.” Robertson added: “For 2010 as a whole, we are aiming for healthy growth in the single-digit percent range to reach more than 1.3 million vehicles.”
The BMW Group made gains in almost all automobile markets in the first quarter. The company achieved new quarterly records not only in the emerging BRIC countries of Brazil (1,658 / +131.2%), Russia (4,668 / +11.6%), India (1,314 / +32.5%) and China (34,179 / +106.1%), but also in Austria (3,589 / +23.1%), South Korea (3,517 / +65.8%) and Malaysia (967 / +14.0%), as well as in the Latin American markets (4,173 / +71.0% – including Brazil) and the Middle East (3,908 / +13.1%).
Despite the overall downward market trend, the BMW Group was the only German manufacturer to also make gains in its largest single market, Germany, where it expanded its market share. With a total of 56,617 (prev. yr. 55,837) vehicles sold in the country in the first three months of the year, there were 1.4% more new BMW and MINI registrations than in the same period last year.
In the United States, the company posted a 7.4% increase in volumes, with sales of 55,051 (prev. yr. 51,244) vehicles between January and March. Substantial increases were also seen in other key markets: For instance, in the United Kingdom sales climbed 13.8% to 34,327 (prev. yr. 30,165) units; in France sales were up 5.2% to 14,462 (prev. yr. 13,745) units; and in Spain sales were 37.4% higher at 10,374 (prev. yr. 7,549) units.
Once again the BMW brand’s larger model series – the BMW 7 Series with 14,245 (prev. yr. 9,246 /+54.1%) deliveries and the BMW X5 and X6 models with combined total deliveries of 33,723 (prev. yr. 30,784 /+9.5%) vehicles – contributed to first-quarter sales gains. Another key growth driver in the first three months of the year was the BMW Z4 Roadster with 6,461(prev. yr. 1,563 / +313.4%) deliveries. All three model series remained the clear global market leaders in their respective segments.
With a million units produced since its launch in 2004, the BMW 1 Series is another driving force behind the growth of the world’s leading manufacturer of premium automobiles. In the first quarter of 2010, this compact model series with four body variants reported an increase in sales of 2.4% to reach a total of 47,909 (prev. yr. 46,798) units. What is traditionally BMW’s highest-volume series, the BMW 3 Series, recorded 91,619 (prev. yr. 89,468 / +2.4%) sales in the period under review.
Ian Robertson: “New orders for the two newly launched X1 and 5 Series Sedan models are looking very good – easily exceeding our already high expectations. We are also very pleased with the market response to the new BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo.” No fewer than 19,657 BMW X1 and 4,484 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo were delivered to customers during the first three months of the year. The new BMW 5 Series Sedan has been available in Europe since late March and will launch in the US in June. Initial deliveries of the new BMW 5 Series Touring and the new MINI Countryman will begin in the autumn of 2010 – hence sales are expected to further increase in the second half of the year in particular. Revised models of the BMW 3 Series Coupé and Convertible, available to customers since late March, will provide additional momentum.
The main growth driver for the MINI brand in the first quarter was the MINI Convertible, which delivered the strongest growth with 5,954 (prev. yr. 1,878) sales worldwide (+217.0%). Considerably more customers chose the MINI One’s Hatch and Clubman variants than in the same period last year, with a total of 12,302 units (prev. yr. 6,889 / +78.6%) sold.
The BMW Motorcycle segment clearly exceeded last year’s sales in the first three months of this year: Sales were 20.9% higher at 20,840 units (17,232). In March 2010, 11,541 motorcycles – an increase of 26.8% – were delivered to customers (prev. yr . 9,100).