2018 is proving to be quite a year for BMW, even in the midst of multiple range-topping and mainstay model introductions and uncertain global economic conditions. Regardless of what’s going on with international markets or the national political scene, demand for new BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce vehicles appears largely unaffected. The numbers are in, and during the first five months of 2018, global BMW Group vehicle deliveries totaled 1,003,573—more than ever before during the same period—which translates to growth of 1.6% compared to 2017.
What’s even more encouraging is the fact that the one-million-unit threshold was reached despite a dip in total May deliveries, which came in at 204,041—a reduction of 2.1%. The current-generation F15 X5 continues to sell well, while the new X3 has also been logging good numbers. X3 production continues to ramp up and increase; that car should be available worldwide during the second half of the year, while the newly announced G05 X5 should also see initial deliveries taking place later in 2018. Thanks to help from the new X2, BMW’s “Year of X” seems to be coming to fruition, with more customers than ever before choosing to take a new one home—and the new X4 is about to hit the market.
Electrified vehicles continue their strong positive growth current as well. Total deliveries of BMW i, iPerformance, and MINI Electric vehicles jumped 41% from January through May of 2018, with a total of 46,849. In the U.S., a surprising 7% of BMW and MINI sales were of vehicles with electrified drivetrains, which equates to staggering growth of 61% at 9,762 units moved. Electric-market share is the same 7% in the UK, where growth was also quite strong at 34.2% resulting from 6,555 deliveries. In mature electric-vehicle markets like Norway and Malaysia, electric vehicles account for more than half of all BMW and MINI sales, but things continue to grow in those countries as well, with year-over-year growth of 5.8% and 37.9% respectively; the target goal of 140,000 electrified-vehicle deliveries for 2018 that’s been discussed for some time now remains well within reach, with 39.2% May growth coming from 10,213 deliveries.
May proved a bit difficult on a global scale, with BMW-brand vehicle sales contracting 1.8% compared with 2017 at a total of 173,940. The slowdown doesn’t seem to have done much in the way of tapering collective totals for 2018, however, as year-to-date deliveries of 858,675 managed to translate to growth of 1.6%, in line with the BMW Group total above.
MINI also had a rather rough May, with 29,767 unit sales, receding 4.4% compared with the same period last year. Headwinds in the UK and changing import duties in China account for some of the lackluster numbers, but the X3 becoming available there later this year should help assuage things on a group scale. Motorrad wasn’t immune, either, with sales shrinking 3% to 17,050 deliveries for May, which contributed to a 1.6% YTD decline with 70,007 deliveries. Things should be looking up in the two-wheeled world soon, though, with a total of nine new models coming out.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy of BMW Group.]