After experiencing a seventh straight year of record sales, the BMW Group reconfirmed its position as the world’s leading premium-car company. How’s this for good news? BMW, Mini, BMW Motorrad, BMW M, and BMW i all set records for 2017 sales. Total global sales for the BMW Group stood at 2,463,526, up 4.1% from 2016.
“We are delighted with these new record sales figures, which mean the BMW Group, with its three premium automotive brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce, remains the world’s leading premium automotive company,” said Dr. Ian Robertson, longtime BMW AG Board of Management Member for sales and brand BMW. Robertson is retiring after seeing year after year of record sales under his watch. He went on, “We have continued to increase sales despite headwinds in some major markets and model-changeovers of several of our most significant vehicles. This demonstrates the high desirability of our brands and products, ranging from the i3 to the M5 and from the BMW 1 Series to the BMW 7 Series. We clearly achieved our target of selling over 100,000 electrified vehicles in a single calendar year and are delighted that, following its model changeover, the BMW 5 Series returned to its position as segment leader in the final months of 2017.”
The Group’s core brand is, of course, BMW, which also saw worldwide record sales in 2017. BMW-branded vehicle sales were up 4.2% to 2,088,283 units. A significant growth driver was the company’s family of X vehicles, which experienced a 9.6% sales jump. The new 5 Series took BMW’s main midsize platform up 6.3%.
Pieter Nota succeeded Robertson on January 1, 2018 as the BMW AG Board Member for sales and brand BMW. Robertson left him big shoes to fill. Said Nota, “I am confident BMW sales will continue to grow during 2018, while we also maintain our focus on profitability. Increased availability of BMW X models, and our ongoing model offensive, which includes the launches of brand new models this year such as the BMW X2 and the BMW 8 Series, will ensure we bring even more customers to the BMW brand in 2018.”
The BMW Group surpassed its goal of selling 100,000 electrified vehicles in 2017. In fact, 103,080 electrified BMWs and Minis were delivered. This 65.6% leap proved that BMW is heading in the right direction with green cars and is a leader in the field. Since the first BMW i3 delivery in 2014, the BMW Group has moved about 200,000 electrified vehicles. Its target for the end of 2019 is to bring that overall score to 500,000.
BMW has not forgotten the enthusiasts who helped put the company on the map. BMW M sales were up 19.1% over 2016, with BMW M and M Performance sales hitting 80,000 for the first time in history.
Mini also got into the act. The sale of 371,881 cars in 2017 was a record and represented a 3.2% increase over 2016. “We are delighted that with our new brand strategy, we have achieved a new sales record,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW AG Board of Management member for Mini, Rolls-Royce, and BMW Motorrad. . “The focus of the Mini portfolio on fewer but more characterful models was completed with the launch of the new Mini Countryman last year. The Countryman contributed significantly to Mini’s growth in 2017 and the first Mini plug-in hybrid also achieved excellent results. I am sure that this success will continue into 2018, with the launch from March of the new Mini 3 and 5 door, as well as the Mini Convertible, supporting the brand’s further growth,” he continued.
The delivery of 3,362 Rolls-Royce automobiles was not a record, but that was because the sales-leading Rolls-Royce Phantom was off the market for much of the year as the company changed over to the Phantom VIII. Delivery of the new Phantoms should start this month.
Two-wheeled BMWs went out the door faster than ever. Global sales of 164,153 BMW motorcycles and maxi-scooters were 13.2% more than in 2016.
As we all know, these BMW Group record-setting performances were made slightly more difficult due to the slowdown in premium vehicle sales in the United States. However, the company had a positive uptick in U.S. sales in the fourth quarter of 2017, so there is hope that will continue in the new year.