The BMW Group increased sales of its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands by 4.7% in the period from January through June to reach a total of 764,874 automobiles (prev.yr.: 730,285). This made the first half-year of 2008 the most successful in the history of the BMW Group in terms of sales. Nevertheless, the company was not entirely able to avoid the difficult economic trends in important individual markets such as the USA and Japan. As such, global sales slipped 2.8% in the month of June to 146,138 units (prev.yr. 150,308).
Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing: "In the first half of the year we were able to report solid growth, as planned. Despite difficult economic conditions in certain automobile markets, the BMW Group aims to improve on last year's sales level for the year as a whole. However, we will continue to monitor world markets and their performance so as to react as necessary."
Deliveries of the BMW brand were up 2.4% between January and June to 637,569 (prev.yr.: 622,415) vehicles. The main drivers of this growth were the BMW 1 Series with 116,919 vehicles sold (+66.4% / prev.yr.: 70,282), the BMW X5 with sales of 63,352 (+30.5% / prev.yr.: 48,533) and the BMW X6 with 6,082 units already delivered. In the first half of 2008, further increases in sales were posted by the BMW 3 Series Cabrio (33,476 units/ prev.yr.: 23,353 / +43.3%) and Coupé (46,277 units/ prev.yr.: 44,642 / +3.7%) as well as the BMW 5 Series Touring (24,460 units/ prev.yr.: 24,115 / +1.4%) and the BMW 6 Series Coupé (5,048 units/ prev.yr.: 4,741 / +6.5%). In June BMW delivered 121,576 automobiles to its customers and, thus slightly failed to reach the sales level of the same period last year (-4.8% / 127,770).
June 2008 also brought two milestones for the BMW brand: Its best-selling model, the BMW 3 Series sedan, has now been delivered more than one million times around the globe since its market launch in March 2005 (1,002,052 in exact figures). By comparison, its predecessor sold about 945,000 models in the first 40 months. BMW M GmbH also celebrated an anniversary in June: 30 years after launching production of its first series-produced model, BMW M GmbH delivered its 300,000th vehicle - an alpine white BMW M3 Coupé - to a customer in Regensburg. The city in eastern Bavaria is also the location of the BMW plant where the high-performance sports car is manufactured.
The MINI brand continues on its successful course with sales up 17.9% in the first half-year to reach a total of 126,810 vehicles (prev.yr.: 107,576). In June more than 24,448 (prev.yr.: 22,465 / +8.8%) MINI were delivered worldwide. A strong contribution to the continued growth in MINI sales was made by the third member of the MINI family, the MINI Clubman, which has complemented the product range since mid-November of last year. In the first six months of 2008 24,774 Clubman were sold; in June the figure was 4,811 vehicles. That means that every fifth MINI sold is now a Clubman.
Growth in Europe, Asia and South America in first half-year
A comparison of the major regions shows mixed developments in sales for the first half-year. While the BMW Group was able to achieve strong growth overall in Europe, Asia and South America, it could not match its sales figures for the previous year in North America and Africa.
In Europe the number of deliveries totalled 470,225 vehicles, surpassing the previous year's figure (435,971) by 7.9%. The company easily sold its most vehicles in Western Europe with 446,032 units sold (+6.6% / prev.yr.: 418,571). Eastern Europe continues to enjoy a strong pace of growth. In this region the BMW Group sold 32.9% more vehicles in the first half-year, bringing the total to 21,479 (prev.yr.: 16,165) units delivered.
In Asia sales climbed 8.7% to 83,386 units (prev.yr.: 76,725). Within this region the Chinese markets continue to experience particularly dynamic growth, with 35,468 vehicles sold by the end of June - which is 25.1% more than in the previous year (28,362).
Faced with the continuing weakness of the economy and the overall contraction of the automotive market the BMW Group saw sales shrink 4.0% to 157,913 units (prev.yr.: 164,441) in the USA in the first half of the year. Nonetheless, the company did better than the market, which in the USA contracted by 10.1% in the period from January through June. Sales in Central and South America, on the other hand, increased over the same period: by 8.4% to 7,486 vehicles (prev.yr.: 6,906) and by 24.4% to 4,350 vehicles (prev.yr.: 3,496) respectively. Overall the American markets were down 2.6% to 183,935 (prev.yr.: 188,900) units.
In the African markets, including its largest single market, South Africa (11,174 units/ prev.yr.: 13,223 / -15.5%), sales in the first half-year also fell by a total of 11.6% to 14,708 vehicles (prev.yr.: 16,630).
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars presented 495 automobiles (prev.yr.: 294 / +68.4%) to its customers in the first six months of the year. In June 114 vehicles were handed over to customers (prev.yr.: 73 / +56.2%)
The Motorcycle segment was unable to maintain last year's level in the first half of the year. Sales decreased by 5.6% to 55,932 units (prev.yr.: 59,230). In June 10,904 motorcycles were delivered, which is 5.9% less compared with the same month last year (11,591).
BMW Group sales in/up to June 2008 at a glance
In June 2008 comp. with prev. year Up to and incl. June 2008 Comp. with prev. year
BMW Group Automobiles 146,138 -2.8% 764,874 +4.7%
BMW 121,576 -4.8% 637,569 +2.4%
MINI 24,448 +8.8 126,810 +17.9%
Rolls-Royce 114 +56.2% 495 +68.4%
BMW Motorcycles 10,904 -5.9 55,932 -5.6%