BMW Group released results for the first quarter of the year. The German car company sold 487,024 vehicles, up 8.7% from the same period a year ago, and a record for the quarter. Luxury car sales worldwide have been good recently. BMW’s have been better.
Group revenues rose by 3.9% to € 18,235 million. Group net profit rose by 11.4% to € 1,462 million. Although sales of the company’s MINI and Rolls Royce helped sales, the contributions were extremely modest, as sales of BMW Group’s flagship brand surged:
The BMW brand maintained its position as the world’s leading premium company during the period under report and, for the first time in its history, sold more than 400,000 vehicles in the first quarter of a financial year. Worldwide sales rose by 12.3% to 428,259 units (2013: 381,404 units). The BMW 3, 5 and 6 Series as well as the X5 each headed the market in their respective segments.
The success was widespread. The BMW 3-Series includes some of the company’s most affordable cars. The 6-Series is among its most expensive. Additionally, the numbers show that BMW has stayed ahead of Mercedes-Benz and Audi, its two primary rivals.
BMW’s sales surge occurred in the market where they have to be successful. That market is Asia. Auto sales in Europe continue to be damaged by the wreck of the economy there. The U.S. market, the world’s second largest, continues to grow, but not at the pace of 2012 and 2013.
The BMW Group achieved first-quarter growth in numerous markets, with sales volume gains recorded in all major regions.
Despite some challenging conditions still to be faced in a number of markets, first-quarter sales in Europe rose by 3.4% to 214,210 units (2013: 207,243 units).
In Asia, the number of cars sold climbed by 21.8% to 158,582 units (2013: 130,219 units). Mainland China saw a 25.4% increase in deliveries to 108,143 units (2013: 86,224).
First-quarter sales in the Americas region rose by 3.5% to 99,840 units (2013: 96,488 units), including 81,248 units sold in the USA (2013: 79,117 units; +2.7%).
So, BMW sales in China have eclipsed those in America, and at a 25% growth rate in the People’ Republic, BMW can stay ahead of the overall auto sales growth in that market — now the world’s largest.
BMW’s next milestones should be a quarter with sales of more than 500,000 units worldwide and 150,000 sales in China. And it appears that those goals could be reached within the next few quarters.