The BMW Group posted record sales in 2023 as demand grew in all important regions of the world. While some of you would expect Europe to be the biggest market for the automotive conglomerate, that wasn’t the case. Asia took the top spot with 1,070,142 units, an increase of 4.1% compared to the year before. Within the largest continent in the world, China was predictably number one with 824,932 cars shipped to customers, up by 4.2% over 2022.
Europe had to settle for second place with 942,805 vehicles, or 7.5% more than the year before. On its home turf, the BMW Group shipped 281,986 cars in Germany, which was up by 11.7% year-over-year. Occupying the last place on the podium were the Americas with 480,380 cars (+9.3%), with the United States being the biggest individual market in the region after shipments grew to 395,741 units (+9.4%).
BMW notes these are all provisional figures and could be adjusted later this year when the BMW Group Report 2023 is going to be published. However, the hierarchy is unlikely to change given there’s a substantial gap of over 127,000 cars between Asia and Europe. Looking back, it’s not all too surprising Asia is ahead yet again since the last time Europe was in first place was in 2019.
To understand just how important Asia is for the BMW Group, the best-selling version of the 5 Series Sedan last year was the long-wheelbase model (G38) only sold in China. The People’s Republic is the place where several models are being built specifically for the local market, such as this i3. It’s a stretched 3 Series Sedan based on the CLAR platform but converted to electric propulsion. The conventionally powered 3er also has its wheelbase elongated in China, as do the X1/iX1, 5 Series/i5, and even the X5.
Globally, the BMW Group shipped 2,555,341 cars in 2023, setting a record after demand grew by 6.5% compared to 2022. Time will tell whether Europe will regain the number one position in the years to come or Asia being #1 is in fact the new norm.
Source: BMW Group