BMW i3

BMW is showing signs of strength during difficult times. Although global deliveries for the first half of the year shrunk 23% to 962,575 units, BMW Group Electrified sales grew 3.4%, to 61,652. As we noted last week in our coverage of BMW North America’s second-quarter sales report, the automaker is by no means alone in facing the most difficult sales environment in recent memory, but actually managed to grow sales for each consecutive month of the previous quarter from April to June.

Looking at the broader picture, all of the major brands that fall under the BMW Group umbrella, including the BMW brand, MINI, Rolls-Royce, and BMW Motorrad are down for 2020 by double-digit percentages that range from 17.7% (Motorrad) to 37.6% (Rolls-Royce). Only BMW Group Electrified, which includes BMW i, was spared, although despite being in the black for 2020 as noted above, second-quarter deliveries still shrank 4.9% to 31,095.

BMW G30 530e

The widespread contraction in sales is also being felt on a global scale, with all of BMW’s major markets down year-over-year. For the first half of 2020, Europe leads the charge with sales declining 32.3%. Deliveries have continued to suffer during the second quarter, with the number diving 45.6% to 151,869. Germany, which stands among BMW’s largest national markets, has seen delivery volume shrink 29.1% during 2020, with sales declining heavily in the second quarter by 46%, to 48,264 units. The figures aren’t far off for the Americas, which have seen sales dive 30.5% to 152,102 for the first six months of the year, and 41.1% to 70,311 during Q2. The U.S. is the largest national market at play within the two continents and has witnessed deliveries slow 29.4% to 120,937 for the year, and 30.5% to 50,245 units for the second quarter.

Asia, where the novel human coronavirus is believed to have originated during the latter half of 2019, has managed to bounce back rather quickly. Sales are still down 8.1% for the year, with 416,153 deliveries, but grew 7.5% during the second quarter, to 253,533. China, the largest national auto market in the world, has seen sales drop 6% during 2020 to 329,069, but posted positive growth of 17.1% for the quarter, with deliveries expanding to 212,617.

The only major automaker bucking the global trend of decline is Tesla, which coincidentally focuses exclusively on the burgeoning EV market. The California-based electric carmaker’s Q2 sales were down 5% year-over-year, but up slightly from the first quarter. Rather expectedly, production volume has fallen, but Tesla faring well in the current economic climate raises the broader point that BMW’s massive investments in its EV portfolio may already be paying off.

Currently, BMW offers seven vehicles with electrified drivetrains in the U.S. These include the i3 and i8 (the latter of which recently concluded production), in addition to the X3 xDrive30e, X5 xDrive45e, 330e, 530e, and the 745e.—Alex Tock

BMW i3 roro

[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]

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