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BMW Group reports 10.1% sales increase in December

Sales decrease for 2009 smaller than expected BMW Group once again world's leading premium manufacturer Robertson: Aiming for sales growth in 2010

(PresseBox) (Munich/Detroit, ) BMW Group retail continued to follow an upward trend in December with a substantial increase in sales of 10.1%. A total of 123,751 (prev. yr. 112,423) BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand automobiles were sold worldwide in the month under review. In light of the continued global economic crisis the company was, as expected, unable to match the previous year's high sales in its figures for the full year 2009. However, the decrease of 10.4% was smaller than expected and ultimately relatively moderate. The BMW Group sold a total of 1,286,310 (prev. yr. 1,435,876) vehicles worldwide in 2009. As a result, the company was able to expand its market share in the premium segment once again last year and maintain its position as the world's leading supplier of premium vehicles.

Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing: "We have succeeded in remaining the world's leading premium car company in 2009. Despite difficult economic conditions we have been steadily gaining ground since April; from September, sales have been back on the growth track. We ended the fourth quarter with volumes up 7.7%. The decrease in sales for 2009 turned out to be smaller than expected." Robertson added: "We are beginning the new year with a sense of optimism, even though we are still feeling the effects of the global economic crisis. We are aiming for growth in the singledigit percentage range in 2010. The large number of new BMW and MINI models will play a major part in this." The new BMW 5 Series, which will be launched as of March, will be one of the most important new models for the BMW Group in 2010. The model changeover will take place in the first two months of the year.

The BMW Group reported strong growth for the full year 2009 in emerging markets such as China (90,536 / +37.5%), Brazil (6,398 / +118.8%) and India (3,619 / +24.4%). Robertson: "We were able to achieve new sales records in all three markets in 2009. And we intend to make further gains in 2010." Germany was the largest single market for BMW and MINI automobiles in 2009: A total of 258,012 (prev. yr. 284,786/-9.4%) vehicles were delivered to customers. With 33,517 deliveries in 2009, the MINI brand enjoyed its most successful year in Germany since its launch. In the US market the BMW Group reported lower sales for 2009 - as did the entire industry. For the year to the end of December, sales decreased by 20.3% (241,727 / prev. yr. 303,190). Nevertheless, Robertson was cautiously optimistic about the coming year in the US: "There have been many encouraging signs over the past few months. In December sales increased by 9.2%. We aim to grow again in the US in 2010." The BMW brand was once again the most successful European premium automotive brand in the USA in 2009 (196,502 vehicles sold).

In December the BMW brand delivered 105,049 (prev. yr. 97,256) units, or 8.0% more vehicles than in the same month last year. In 2009 as a whole, BMW sold 1,068,77 (prev. yr. 1,202,239 / -11.1%) automobiles worldwide, once again giving the brand a strong lead over its competitors in the premium segment. In 2009, gains were made by the BMW 7 Series (52,680 / +35.7%) and the BMW X6 (41,667/+56.8%) and Z4 (22,759 / +26.4%) models, among others. In its key domestic market of Germany, the BMW 7 Series (7,439 / +74.8%), as well as the BMW X5 (10,933 / -31.9%) and X6 (4.940 / +51,0%) models, were the clear leaders in their respective segments. The new BMW X1 and 5 Series GT models introduced in late October also got off to an excellent start in the markets: A total of 8,499 BMW X1 and 3,052 BMW 5 Series GT have already been delivered to customers around the world.

The MINI brand also reported strong growth of 22.2% in December, with 18,335 (prev. yr. 15,010) MINI cars sold in the month under review. For the year to the end of December a total of 216,538 vehicles were delivered to customers around the world (prev. yr. 232,425 / -6.8%).

Rolls-Royce retailed 1002 cars during 2009, including the first 150 Ghosts delivered to customers in December. Ian Robertson said: "Demand for the Ghost has been exceptional and the latest Rolls-Royce has been met with universal acclaim from customers, the media and enthusiasts alike." Around 85 per cent of Ghost customers are new to the marque. Rolls-Royce remains the market leader in the ultimate luxury class.

BMW Motorrad sold 5.360 (prev. yr. 7457/-28.1%) motorcycles in December. In a difficult market environment it was not possible to match the previous year's high sales figures in 2009. 87.306 (prev. yr. 101.685/-14.1%) BMW motorcycles were sold to customers throughout the full year.

BMW Group sales in/up to December 2009 at a glance
In Dec. 2009 Comp. to previous year Up to and incl. Dec. 2009 Comp. to previous year
BMW Group Automobiles 123,751 +10.1% 1,286,310 -10.4%
BMW 105,049 +8.0% 1,068,770 -11.1%
MINI 18,335 +22.2% 216,538 -6.8%
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars 367 +133.8% 1,002 -17.3%
BMW Motorcycles 5,360 -28.1% 87.306 -14.1%

BMW AG

The BMW Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 24 production facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

The BMW Group achieved a global sales volume of more than 1.43 million automobiles and over 101,000 motorcycles for the 2008 financial year. Revenues for 2008 totalled EUR 53.2 billion, with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 921 million. The company employed a global workforce of approximately 98,000 associates on 30 June 2009.

The success of the BMW Group has always been built on longterm thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last five years.