Tuesday, February 4, 2014

BMW Views 2009 in Degrees of Bad

Almost all automakers view 2009 by degrees of "bad," including BMW. But the BMW Group - which includes MINI and Rolls-Royce - views its year as close to the least bad year it could have had. In today's auto sector climate, BMW could be said to have had a good year.

BMW Group sold a total of 1,286,310 vehicles including the BMW, MINI, and Rolls badges, 10.4% lower than its 2008 total. But the 10.4% decline is measured against a predicted 10-15% drop in sales volume. "Cash for clunkers" programs in both Europe and America may have had an impact on sales, but the company characterizes the effect on its BMW, Rolls, and MINI as "very minor."

The group increased its market share among premium auto brands, taking a larger slice of a shrinking pie and positioning it well for the future, even claiming that Rolls, BMW, and MINI are the strongest premium brands in the automobile industry.

Profit before tax was actually slightly up from 2008, increasing from 351 million euros to 413 million euros, but the year-over-year change is an order of magnitude don from its 2007 total of 3.9 billion euros. Profit before financial result, plummeted from 921 million euros to 289 million euros - again paling against 4.2 billion in 2007.

MINI sales volume declined 6.8% from 2008. Only the new MINI Clubman One and the MINI One saw increased volume. High-prestige, low-volume Rolls-Royce showed a 17.3% decline to 1,002 vehicles sold in 2009, although its new Ghost sold well. Among BMWs, the 7 series, the new X1, the X6, and the Z4 all showed substantial gains year over year, whereas sales of all other models fell. It should be noted, however, that the 1 series 5-door was down only 1.9%; most models showed steeper declines.