2018 has been a very strong year for BMW Group as a whole, with robust worldwide sales numbers coming in throughout the first six months. Making the growth even more impressive are global financial markets and broader car-buying statistics that indicate a somewhat less rosy economic picture outside the U.S., with consequences being felt here as well. BMW may finally be feeling some delayed effects that other manufactures have been more susceptible to, but brand sales still managed to edge out 0.1% growth in the U.S. for July, with 21,982 vehicles sold compared to 2017’s figure of 21,965. On a year-to-date scale, things are still looking quite nice, with BMW brand sales up 2.5% resulting from 175,368 deliveries as opposed to 171,051 sold during the first seven months of 2017.
The X model line is leading the way, with an impressive 49.6% of all sales coming exclusively from the available collection of SAVs. The X3 is currently the most popular of any BMW, and with a new generation dubbed the G01 launched in late 2017 as a 2018 model year, it sounds like the ubiquitous staple of the brand has been experiencing demand that has kept production facilities busy, with more sites coming online to increase availability.
BMW Group Electrified sales—a term that encompasses BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric—accounted for some 7% of total sales, and even with a decline of 7.2% in July with sales of 1,859 vehicles compared to 2,004 for last year, things still seem to be trending in the right direction as a whole. With a total of seven different models that cater to various dimensional, performance and other specific needs now available, electrified sales are up a substantial 39.5% over 2017, and in the BMW Group quarterly report issued earlier this month and a more recent earnings call, the firm remains on pace to meet its goal of selling 140,000 around the world this year.
MINI sales continue to lag, with 4,296 deliveries representing a decline of 3.2% compared with 4,398 for July of last year. The Countryman alone was responsible for some 40% of brand sales during the month, with 1,724 delivered to customers. It’s not all bad for MINI though, as sales are still up 1.2% for 2018 thus far.
In the used car market, BMW CPO (certified pre-owned) sales saw a decrease of 13.2% coming from 10,291 deliveries, while non-certified pre-owned sales also retracted 2.6% with 20,410 vehicles sold. MINI on the other hand saw some encouraging positivity in this segment, with CPO sales of 1,334 vehicles translating to a year-over-year increase of 31.4%, while regular pre-owned sales were also up some 10.4% with 2,933 cars moved.
Despite sales that might be cooling down along with those of other manufacturers and the industry as a whole, it sounds like BMW still occupies enviable high ground. During the recent earnings conference call for the firm, executives expressed positivity going forward, with lots to be excited about. Beyond previously reported expansion with longterm Chinese partner Brilliance, a new plant in East Europe has also just been announced, while massive expenditures related to research and development are paving the way for iNext and ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electrified Services/Shared). Above all, it’s said that BMW remains on course for a great year, with a great outlook reaffirmed.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy of BMW Group.]