Despite BMW brand sales that were down 5% in North America and over 6% for the BMW Group, global sales managed to edge out a small gain of 0.5% during January, resulting from 170,463 deliveries of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce models. Worldwide BMW brand sales also expanded marginally, with 149,616 vehicles accounting for a 0.8% increase compared with last year. While mainstays like the 3 Series and X5 are in the midst of a generational changeover which is said to be responsible for slow sales in most regions with the exception of Asia, other vehicles are carrying the brand forward. These include the X3, which carded a triple-digit increase of 138.3% over last year with 22,818 sold during January, and the X4, of which 4,397 were delivered, which represents a 36.9% gain.
BMW Group Electrified continued its occupation of positive territory, with deliveries expanding 1.4% during January to a total of 7,234. Again, a few rather important models in arena include the upcoming G20 330e and the X5 xDrive45e, neither of which is available yet, as their market introductions are scheduled for later this year. The i3 is the best selling electric vehicle manufactured by the BMW Group, and sales were strong in January with 2,598 deliveries equating to growth of 30.4% over last year. The 530e did even better on a percentage basis, with unit sales of 1,722 translated to a positive jump of 82%.
MINI brand sales continued their retreat in 2019, with January deliveries coming in 1.7% short of last year thanks to unit sales of 20,575. One avenue of potential might be MINI Electric though, which will see a full EV model released at some point during this year. This would continue the MINI Countryman Cooper S E plug-in hybrid’s success, which saw sales grow 25.7% during January with 1,027 units sold, making up a full 18% of Countryman sales.
BMW Motorrad followed up an eighth consecutive year of record sales with a healthy 1.5% expansion heading into 2019. A total of 8,578 premium BMW Motorrad motorcycles and maxi-scooters met new owners in January.
Breaking down the globe by region, most of the individual BMW Group sales figures come back negative with the exception of Asia, which was kept afloat by China. Europe carded a decrease of 2.1% with 63,696 deliveries taking place during January. Germany, a bellwether market, was down 6.8% owing to unit sales of 22,956, but the U.K. was up 4% thanks to 10,399 deliveries. The Americas came in 6.2% lower with 26,786 vehicles sold there, and Latin America accounting for a 0.9% decline calculated from unit sales of 3,815. The U.S. witnessed a decrease of 6.3% to 20,559 sales, more details of which are discussed here. Asia was up 6.7%, with an impressive 75,881 BMW Group vehicles sold there during January. Japan, a much smaller and more mature market than China, saw 3,026 deliveries, a 16.6% decline from January of last year, while China posted a 15.5% expansion thanks to a substantial 63,135 unit sales there.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]