With the release of its half-year report, BMW held a conference this week to talk about its sales performance during the first six months of 2022. Except for the X7 fullsize SUV and the “i” electric cars, every single model line suffered a sales decline from January through June. Overall, deliveries were down by 13.7% compared to H1 2021. Sales of the 1 Series / 2 Series dropped the most, by 34.3%, while those of the 7 Series / 8 Series went down by 31.3%.
Nevertheless, BMW chairman Oliver Zipse declared “order books are well-filled several months out.” While this statement might seem in direct contradiction with the sales results for the first half of the year, there’s a logical explanation behind it. Semiconductor shortages and other supply bottlenecks are still a real problem, which means the German luxury brand can’t build as many cars as it would like. Customers have no other way but to patiently wait for their new cars or switch to a different brand.
BMW has already adjusted its sales projections for 2022 in light of the continuous supply constraints and expects to deliver fewer cars this year than originally estimated. Oliver Zipse didn’t specifically mention Russia, but the 58-year-old exec did talk about potential energy supply issues in Europe. In addition, he went on to say the company has a “natural gas competence team” already working with suppliers to counteract a potential gas shortage should Russia decide to slow down deliveries.
Sales are expected to rise following all-new or updated products about to hit the market. We’re primarily talking about the next-generation X1 / iX1 and 7 Series / i7 as well as facelifts for the 3 Series and X7. Over in China, customer deliveries of the i3 electric sedan have commenced. Oliver Zipse says the i4 and iX are still being rolled out in some markets and new orders for the two EVs are “exceptionally strong.”
BMW also sees huge potential in the next-gen 5 Series, specifically the purely electric i5. However, the two sedans won’t be out until later in 2023.