The numbers are in, and 2019 was a banner year for BMW M. Precisely 135,829 M and M Performance models were sold globally, which represents a 32.2% increase from 2018. People want M cars, and they are voting with their wallets.
A subsidiary of the BMW Group, BMW M GmbH could easily stand on its own as volume car manufacturer, and is the leading brand within its high-performance segment by volume. It’s not just M and M Performance BMWs people are buying, either, as the total number of BMWs ordered with the optional M Sport package also increased 25% year-to-year, with nearly 1,000,000 sold.
The U.S. remains the leading BMW M market, with 44,442 vehicles sold here; in North America, every seventh BMW model delivered is an M car. National markets like Germany and the UK rank second and third respectively in terms of volume, while the country with the highest take rate—nearly one fifth—is Switzerland. Over the last five years, the network of BMW M Certified facilities has also expanded by more than 90%, with approximately 1,200 such dealerships established worldwide.
BMW may be one of the most valuable brands on Earth by any measure from any industry, but its performance-focused sub-brand may be what really draws drivers in.
The impressive numbers were made possible by the fact that 2019 was a year of unprecedented model expansion for M. The last twelve months have borne witness to an impressive model offensive, with new additions to the M portfolio like the M8 coupe, X3 M and X4 M, and all of their respective Competition sub-models further bolstering BMW’s presence in the segment. That may not sound like many new models, but the X3 in its conventional form is BMW’s most popular model in North America by a healthy margin.
BMW M touches nearly every model and series in the greater BMW portfolio, with engines from four through twelve cylinders, and offerings that range from the 1 Series to the X7 and the Z4. In the U.S., some good examples are cars like the M340i, X3 M40i, and M550i, which offer discerning buyers the best of both worlds when it comes to performance and everyday usability. These aren’t the only models in the M Performance lineup, which also includes cars like the X2 M35i and M850i—BMW truly offers something for everyone.
Despite 2019 being one of those years that falls between BMW M3 generations, it was still the best in the 50-year history of the M brand by volume. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic going into 2020 and beyond as well, including upcoming launches of models like the M8 Gran Coupé, the M2 CS, the latest generation of the X5 and X6 M, and the newest editions of the M3 and M4.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]