We just received the following press release from the BMW Group:
The BMW Group sold more vehicles in March than ever before in a month. The company sold a total of 165.842 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles in the past month, not only significantly exceeding the figure for March of last year (141,717 units / +17%) but also the previous sales high of 152,721 vehicles recorded in December 2007. The BMW and MINI brands also set new monthly records.
The company also achieved a new high for the first three months: Sales started the year stronger than ever – for the BMW Group, and the three brands. Retail volumes for the year to the end of March increased by more than 67,000 vehicles to 382,758 units (prev. yr. 315,630 units), which represents growth of 21.3% compared with the first quarter of 2010.
Broad regional growth across all continents and in virtually all countries contributed to this development. March sales rose in Europe (93,540 vehicles / +7.8%) and in Asia (35,048 vehicles / +52%), as well as in the Americas (32,020 vehicles / +18.6%).
Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing: “2011 got off to an excellent start for the BMW Group with new sales records. This positive development is mainly thanks to our attractive model range and healthy auto markets in many parts of the world – in the established markets of Europe and the U.S., and in the emerging markets of South America and Asia. Sales volume of the year 2011 is expected to rise to well over 1.5 million units, a new all-time high, with the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands all achieving new sales volume records.”
BMW brand: BMW 5 Series doubles sales and strengthens segment leadership
With sales of 134,892 vehicles (prev. yr.: 117,706), more BMW brand vehicles were sold in a single month than ever before. Volumes climbed 14.6% from March 2010. Sales for the year to the end of March reached 321,175 vehicles (prev. yr. 265,819). This represents an increase of 20.8% over the first three months of last year.
The growth seen in March was driven partly by the brand’s large vehicles. The strongest sales growth within the model range was posted by the BMW 5 Series. The total of 30,954 5 Series sold is double the figure for March 2010 (+114.5%). Since sales commenced exactly a year ago, the company has sold more than 200,000 units. The new BMW 5 Series continues to be a highly successful model and is the clear leader in the upper midrange segment. The BMW 5 Series GT (2,272 vehicles / +15.9%) and the flagship BMW 7 Series (5,803 vehicles / +9.9%) also performed well on a global scale.
The German market also saw a strong increase in new registrations of upper-class vehicles and the BMW 5 Series and the BMW 7 Series lead their segments after the first quarter.
The BMW X1 and X3 also met with very strong demand on a global scale. The new BMW X3, available since late November 2010, was purchased by 9,315 new customers (+93.5%). The BMW X1 achieved a sales volume of 12,660 vehicles (+28.2%).
MINI brand: Countryman drives sales to record level
MINI also reported record figures. At 30,689 units (+28.5%), MINI sales easily exceeded the brand’s previous monthly best from 2008. A total of 60,860 vehicles were sold in the first quarter of 2011. This represents a sales increase of 22.9% compared with the first three months of last year.
The MINI Countryman, introduced last September, contributed to the brand’s positive performance so far this year. With 8,392 vehicles sold, the newest MINI version accounted for more than a quarter of MINI retail in March.
The Rolls-Royce brand continued to grow dynamically in March. A total of 261 (prev. yr. 125 / +108.8%) automobiles were received by customers in the period under review. For the year to the end of March, the number of Rolls-Royce motor cars delivered thus climbed 159.1% to 723 (prev. yr. 279) vehicles.
BMW Motorcycles significantly exceeded the previous year’s figures in the first three months of the year. Sales rose 10.9% to 23,109 units. BMW Motorcycles thus achieved the best quarterly result in its history. A total of 11,675 BMW motorcycles were delivered in March 2011 – an increase of 1.2%. Husqvarna Motorcycles delivered 1,940 motorcycles (+18.3%) to customers in the first quarter and 676 motorcycles (-17%) in the month of March.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.