This year has started slow for BMW from a sales point of view. The Bavarian company is lagging behind its main rivals, Mercedes-Benz and Audi in global sales, and behind Lexus and Mercedes in the US. However, in a recent interview, BMW’s Sales and Marketing boss Ian Robertson talked about the economics and the forecast for this year.

Speaking to Autocar, Ian Robertson said that profits will always be more important than volume and as long as the company is profitable, there’s no reason to panic. Robertson acknowledges that there is still work to do.

Ian Robertson
Ian Robertson

“Profits have always been our guiding light, and our consistency in that field bears testament to that,” said Robertson. “But within that there is always the challenge of balancing the equation between profit, volume and residual values. If I’m honest we’re not 100% where we want to be. But a lot of that is down to some clear, profit-led decisions we’ve taken.”

As an example, the BMW Group stopped selling smaller cars in Russia, where the currency dropped 50 percent percent of its value in the last few years. This, of course, impacted the volume of cars sold worldwide but it was a decision taken to protect profits on the long run.

“The appeal of volume is that it is a multiplier of other savings – if you have volume you can use it to drive profits in other ways. But it can also risk profits. We have a team of people monitoring it, and it is not an easy equation, but profits must always guide our decisions,” also added Robertson.