BMW Group Sales Dip In February Ahead Of Full 3 Series Availability

Global BMW deliveries declined 4.1% on a year-over-year basis during February, with 171,501 unit sales of BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce vehicles taking place during the month. Although BMW Group sales were up marginally during January, February brings the year-to-date figures to 341,977 deliveries, or 1.9% fewer than during the same period last year. As mentioned last month, those in charge are attributing the slow sales to various model changeovers, with the current bellwether 3 Series switching from the predecessor F30 to the new G20 platform, which is becoming available around the world right now.

According to Pieter Nota, the board member responsible for sales and the BMW brand, the seventh-generation 3 Series is already experiencing strong demand in terms of orders. Coupled with other important models being introduced throughout the year that are expected to drive sales, Nota said, “I remain confident we will achieve a slight sales increase in 2019.”

Just recently at the Geneva Motor Show, a total of four electrified drivetrain models had their world premier, and these included EV versions of the 3 Series, 7 Series, X3 and X5. Additionally, the 5 Series is slated to receive fourth-generation PHEV technology later this year, an update that the 2 Series Active Tourer will also receive. During February, BMW Group Electrified deliveries totaled 7,750, a decrease of 1.9% compared with the previous year. Year-to-date, Group Electrified sales are down 0.4%, for a total of 14,993, although both figures are expected to improve with the market launch of the aforementioned models, as the lineup is thin during the current transition. Interestingly enough, more than a few years after its initial launch, the i3 remains a strong seller, carding a 19.8% gain in sales during January and February.

The BMW Brand itself saw sales retreat 4.7% during February resulting from 148,012 deliveries, while the year-to-date story isn’t quite as grim, with 297,640 unit sales equating to a decrease of 2% against last year. The largest factor at play here is the 3 Series, which accounted for 13% of all BMW deliveries during 2018. With the F30 experiencing its runout, the 3 Series has seen sales decline 13.4% year-to-date, for a total of 37,232 deliveries.

Regional and national Group sales numbers were a bit of a mixed bag. The Americas carded a decrease of 2.8% during February with 32,770 vehicles sold, while 2019 has witnessed 59,556 deliveries so far, a decline of 4.3% compared to the same period of 2018. More specifically, the 26,237 unit sales that took place in the U.S. during February equate to a reduction of 1.3%, which add to a year-to-date total of 46,796 deliveries, a decline of 3.6%. South America was down 2.8% last month with 3,799 deliveries taking place there, and the story of 2019 thus far isn’t much different with a contraction of 1.9% resulting from sales of 7,614 vehicles.

Europe posted a decrease of 3.2% with 75,273 deliveries during February, which isn’t far off from the 2.7% decrease for both months of 2019, which saw 138,982 unit sales. Germany, an important market for BMW, saw sales grow 0.7% to 21,141, although deliveries are still negative for the country for the year so far, with 44,174 unit sales translating to a decrease of 3.2%. The U.K. was one of the strongest markets during February with deliveries expanding 4.1% to 8,297, and the percentage gain on the year-to-date basis is identical at 4.1%, coming from 18,701 vehicles sold during January and February.

The largest regional market, Asia, was down 5.1% with 59,105 deliveries occurring there during February. For the year though, things are still positive, with 134,986 unit sales translating to an increase of 1.2%. Uncharacteristically, China nearly came up short with a small gain of 0.6% and sales of 44,582 vehicles during February. The nation is still up by a healthy margin for 2019 thus far though, thanks to 107,717 unit sales which equate to an expansion of 8.8%. In Japan, 5,558 unit sales during February equated to a gain of 5.5%, while the year-to-date numbers remain negative at 8,584 deliveries, down 3.5% compared to the same period of 2018.

MINI brand sales actually fared a bit better than those of BMW, with a decrease of just 1.1% to 23,068 deliveries taking placing last month. For the year so far, 43,644 unit sales equate to a decrease of 1.4% against the same time frame of 2018.

After edging out a small gain during 2018 which saw a host of new models introduced, BMW Motorrad sales have been doing quite well in 2019. During February, 11,097 deliveries resulted in an increase of 9.1%, and adding January into the mix brings the total to 19,675, and the percentage gain to 5.6%.—Alex Tock

[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]

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