BMW Group reports sales increase for year to September

(PresseBox) (Munich, ) .
- Deliveries up 1.7% to 1.11 million automobiles
- September marked by consumer reluctance
- Many new models presented in Paris

The BMW Group was able to increase its sales volume for the year to the end of September 2008 by 1.7% compared to the previous year. Global deliveries reached a total of 1,113,972 automobiles (prev.yr. 1,094,849). The BMW brand accounted for 928,230 of the vehicles delivered (prev.yr.: 929,379 / -0.1%), while 184,915 were MINI brand vehicles (prev.yr.: 164,891 / +12.1%). From January to September of this year, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars delivered 827 vehicles to customers, thereby achieving a gain of 42.8% (prev.yr.: 579).

As far as individual models are concerned, the BMW 1 Series (+52.0%), in particular, reported strong growth in the first nine months of 2008, driven primarily by the Convertible and Coupé versions introduced early in the year. By the end of September, 173,772 (prev.yr.: 114,330) BMW 1 Series had been delivered to customers. Other growth drivers were the BMW X5 and the BMW X6 with a combined total of 107,297 (+33.2% / prev.yr. 80,540) units. The BMW 3 Series Convertible also experienced strong growth with 46,471 (prev.yr.: 38,912 / +19.4%) units sold, as well as the BMW 6 Series Coupé with 6,949 (prev.yr.: 6,859 / +1.3%) units. With model changes for the 3 Series Sedan and the BMW 3 Series Touring in late September, sales of both predecessor models for the first nine months of the year were, as expected, below the previous year's high level, at 257,489 (prev.yr.: 314,009 / -18.0%) units. The extensively revised new models will boost growth over the next few months. The same applies to the new BMW 7 Series, which will be delivered to customers starting 15 November.

September marked by consumer reluctance in the United States and Western Europe; continued growth in the emerging markets Faced with the increasingly challenging economic situation in the United States and Western Europe, the BMW Group reported an overall decline in sales in September of 14.6% to 121,621 units (prev.yr.: 142,357). The BMW brand reported 98,874 sales in the month under review and as such is down 16.4% from the same month last year (118,310) in a monthly comparison. In its largest sales market, the United States, deliveries fell 25.8% to 18,506 (prev.yr.: 24,933) automobiles. The BMW brand saw sales decrease 29.5% to 14,744 automobiles (prev.yr.: 20,901). The crisis in the financial markets is currently making consumers highly reluctant to purchase, especially in the United States, albeit another factor has been the planned reallocation of vehicles originally intended for the USA to markets with higher profit margins.

In Western Europe BMW Group sales also declined in September as a result of the economic downturn (74,231 units / -16.9%). Nevertheless, with 637,018 units sold, absolute sales figures to the end of September are 2.1% higher than those for the same period last year (624,080 units). Trends in the emerging markets again remained positive in September - although they could not entirely offset the decline in the mature volume markets of Western Europe and the United States. The BMW Group experienced its highest rates of growth in Eastern Europe: especially in Russia, with a gain of 27.5% (1,813 / prev.yr.: 1,422). In South America deliveries also rose significantly to reach a total of 1,026 vehicles (+21.9% / prev.yr.: 842); likewise in China with 6,703 (+16.5% / prev.yr.: 5,755) and India with 294 automobiles sold (+61.5% / prev.yr.: 182).

"The situation remains challenging: The recent escalation in the financial crisis is also affecting consumer confidence in the premium-segment," according to Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing. "However, we do expect the current weakness in demand to pass over time. With many new highly-efficient models being launched in the next months, we are well equipped for the future."

Numerous premieres in Paris
At the current Paris Motor Show, the BMW Group is presenting a range of new models and technologies which will help drive growth over the next years: The new BMW 7 Series, the revised BMW 3 Series Sedan and Touring models, the BMW Concept X1 and the MINI Crossover Concept. A concept study of the BMW 7 Series, with an integrated electric engine as an auxiliary drive, is also being showcased: the BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid. The BMW Group's first series-produced hybrid vehicle, the BMW X6 ActiveHybrid, will be launched on the market next year.

MINI makes significant gains over the first nine months
Global deliveries of MINI brand vehicles climbed 12.1% to reach a total of 184,915 vehicles (prev.yr.: 164,891) for the year to the end of September. Most notably, the MINI Clubman, which was newly introduced this year, has already secured 36,129 buyers and thus increased its share of MINI brand vehicles sold to almost 22%. For the month of September the MINI brand was down 5.5% on the same month last year with 22,618 vehicles sold. With 3,762 (prev.yr.: 4,032) vehicles delivered in the month under review, sales in the United States, also declined. The 6.7% decrease is due to low inventories. Overall, demand for the premium small car is still exceptionally strong. For the full year, the brand aims to achieve a new global sales high of more than 240,000 units.

Rolls-Royce still on success course
Sales of the Rolls-Royce brand continued their positive trend: 129 vehicles were delivered to customers in September. This represents growth of 7.5% and brings the total of Rolls-Royce sold since the start of this year to 827 automobiles (+42.8% compared to previous year).

BMW Motorcycles grow by 1.8% in September
Despite difficult market conditions the Motorcycles Segment saw sales increase in September from the previous year's high level. BMW Motorrad sold 7,802 (prev.yr.: 7,661/+1.8%) motorcycles during the month. For the year to the end of September sales fell 2.5% to 80,750 units (prev.yr. 82,779).

BMW Group sales in/up to September 2008 at a glance
In September 2008 Comp. with previous year Up to and incl. September 2008 Comp. with previous year BMW Group Automobiles 121,621 -14.6% 1,113,972 +1.7%
BMW 98,874 -16.4% 928,230 -0.1%
MINI 22,618 -5.5% 184,915 +12.1%
Rolls-Royce 129 +7.5% 827 +42.8%
BMW Motorcycles 7,802 +1.8% 80,750 -2.5%


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