BMW remains cautiously optimistic about 2013

BMWBMW AG enjoyed a record-breaking year in terms of growth during 2012 and, despite uncertainty, remains cautiously optimistic about 2013. Demand for its passenger cars continues to be strong and the automaker is in the process of further expanding its product portfolio and adding production capacity. BMW says that by the end of 2015, it plans to have 25 new models on the market.

Despite difficult economic conditions in Europe and a fall in vehicle registrations to their lowest level since 1990, BMW is still pushing ambitious growth targets, aiming to sell a total of 2 million vehicles worldwide across its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands by 2016.

“We are aiming to achieve a further rise in unit sales in the current year and hence a new sales volume record,” stated Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, during the firm’s Annual Accounts Press Conference in Munich on Tuesday this week.

Besides continuing to push for volume, BMW is also forging ahead with its green vehicle program under the i Brand, with its i3 Battery Electric Vehicle. BMW says that the i3 sets new standards in terms of lightweight vehicle construction and according to Reithofer, has already received “several hundred advanced orders.” Reithofer, in looking back on 2012, said that “the past year has been the most successful year in the BMW Group’s corporate history, with new records achieved for sales volume, revenues and Group earnings. We are aiming to achieve a further rise in unit sales in the current year and hence a new sales volume record.”

Moving forward however, things could be more difficult. Besides tough economic conditions in Europe, China, which is emerging as the world’s largest luxury market and a key driver for BMW’s sales has been cooling — demand for the automaker’s models are up just 9 per cent so far this year (in 2012 growth was more than 40 per cent). Additionally, aggressive growth strategies from key rivals, such as Audi AG (which also currently leads luxury car demand in China) as well as Mercedes-Benz, are also likely to present challenges for the Munich-based automaker in the months and years ahead.

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