Market turmoil and talk of harsh trade restrictions remain responsible for creating a substantial portion of the headlines featured in the 24-hour news cycle, and as we all know, uncertainty influencing the ability to effectively plan and forecast is a huge headache for a business or venture of any size or scope. Fortunately for the BMW Group, demand continues to remain relatively sound for the wide range of products from MINI to Rolls-Royce. July of 2018 marked yet another continued month of growth, and the best ever July for the firm with sales increasing 0.2% over last year with 181,051 deliveries, which contributed to a year-to-date figure of 1,423,565 vehicles sold or a 1.6% increase compared with 2017. According to Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG and responsible for sales, “Our focus on sustainable, profitable sales growth is proving successful, as we continue to attract more customers than ever, despite the various headwinds currently affecting the industry.”
It’s that laser focus which seems to be completely dialed into what customers want that is producing cars like the G01 X3 and G30 5 Series, both of which are doing quite well in their segments. While global sales for the BMW brand as a whole for July came in at 154,531 units translating to growth of 0.7%, 15,482 copies of the new X3 were sold in July, which equates to a massive 52.3% expansion over last year. For 2018 so far, 1,213,833 BMWs have been sold, or a 1.9% year-over-year increase. The 5 Series also generated double-digit growth other the same time period, with 221,732 units delivered, growth of 16.2%.
BMW Group electrified (BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric vehicles) also saw continued positive energy, with customer demand responsible for a substantial current of cars, crossovers and SAVs streaming out of the various production facilities. During the first seven months of 2018, worldwide sales of BMW Group electrified vehicles totaled 71,310, up some 40.6% in contrast with 2017. The month of July saw a specific spike in electrified sales, with 10,649 deliveries translating to impressive 30.9% growth. The aforementioned figures clearly indicate that BMW is a global industry leader when it comes to premium electrified mobility, but it’s also true on a national scale. Overall brand sales are down in the U.K. by some 13%, but demand for vehicles with electrified drivetrains is quite strong, with year-to-date sales of 9,923 or 34.3% growth. In the U.S., the unit sales figure is 13,874 or a 39.5% expansion, and in China, increasing availability and homegrown production translated to 8,078.
Things remain difficult for MINI and BMW Motorrad, which logged slight declines of 0.2% and 1.3% for year-to-date sales respectively, resulting from 207,675 cars and 101,839 motorcycles sold. For the month of July alone, MINI recorded a retraction of 2.7% with 26,244 deliveries. Motorrad continues to state that the development and rollout of new offerings is having an effect on deliveries, with a total of nine fresh models said to be on the horizon.
Overall, even with marginal receding occurring in select, important national markets, things remain positive on a regional scale, with the Americas, Asia and Europe all reporting continued year-to-date growth of 3.4%, 2.2% and 0.8% respectively.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW Group.]