BMW bosses have revealed the car maker sold 1.67 million cars last year

Ahead of its official financial results for 2011, BMW bosses have revealed that the maker sold 1.67 million cars last year, including a record 285,000 Minis and 3668 Rolls Royce models. It also says that sales in January and February 2012 were the ‘best in BMW’s history’.

Speaking at the Geneva motor show, Dr Klaus Draeger, BMW’s board member for development, told Autocar that the company saw growth in the US and the ‘BRICT’ countries [Brazil, Russia, India, China and Turkey], but that sales in southern European countries such as Spain had collapsed.

Dr Draeger also said that he eventually saw annual sales of around 600,000 for the upcoming new front-wheel drive family of BMWs and Minis. ‘Once you sell between 600,000 and one million vehicles annually, based on the same architecture, then you have the best economies of scale. Once you break through the million barrier, the cost savings are not significant.’

Today’s related 1-series and 3-series families - which sell around 600,000 units combined - is an example of BMW’s strategy, he added.

The new front-drive architecture will cover vehicles sized between around 3.8 and 4.4m in length, though Draeger said he ‘couldn’t imagine’ a future Mini model that was much bigger than today’s Countryman. The first front-drive BMW is likely to be a 4m-long competitor for the Audi A1.

BMW’s Oxford plant is currently undergoing significant expansion in preparation for the new platform and the launch of the Mk3 BMW Mini early next year.

Hilton Holloway

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6 March 2012

The rise of BMW poses an interesting question regarding their continued viability as a premium brand. If sales keep increasing, they could become be as ubiquitous as Ford or Vauxhall in the 90s and will be in danger of losing their premium appeal. Where will the consumer then turn for premium branding?


6 March 2012

[quote Johnny English]

The rise of BMW poses an interesting question regarding their continued viability as a premium brand. If sales keep increasing, they could become be as ubiquitous as Ford or Vauxhall in the 90s and will be in danger of losing their premium appeal. Where will the consumer then turn for premium branding?

[/quote]

To me they already are mainstream.

3 series is a Cortina, 5/7 are the spiritual Granada.

No surprise though that they post record sales, everyone are inexplicably obsessed with them.

6 March 2012

Ah, the Cortina and Granada, a warm glow of memories stirs!

You can be everywhere and still premium as long as its a brand and you protect it. What is harder to protect is the exclusivity - you cant have volume without losing that, look at the reactions to the Evoque - especially the softtop version, it will probably sell loads, but what will it ultimately do to the RR brand, its already heavily weighed down by footballers etc, a T.O.W.I.E Evoque may bring it down to Burberry Baseball cap terittory. Thats the balance that is hard, how low do you go down the food chain for sales while still protecting the premium image and pricing.

6 March 2012

Audi is reporting best-ever sales for the first two months too.

I quite disagree with you guys, BMW mainstream, don`t see it.

You may find 318d at fair prices, but spec any BMW to the point and you will see what means premium. Far from being just a badge.

Claiming badge-obsession is lack of sight, they (premium) brands are being driven by rising economies. Back in UK and nearby, you can resume the story to playing with other purse`s toys.

6 March 2012

[quote Johnny English] Where will the consumer then turn for premium branding?[/quote] When I purchased my first BM in 2000 they were something special and Mondeo Man was still in his Mondeo. Now Mondeoman buys 3 series and with Audi it is now mainstream fodder for middle management. I think the marque has been tainted for some time and will require some effort to win back the prestige it use to have.

6 March 2012

[quote sirwiggum]No surprise though that they post record sales, everyone are inexplicably obsessed with them.
[/quote] well i'm obsessed with them becasue they are (mostly) damn fine cars. nothing inexplicable there.

with regards to them becoming more and more common and potentially losing their premium; i doubt it. Their brand is strong and as such will always carry a certain extra value. If you think about strong brands, they are often more expensive than the competition, and yet still manage to outsell them...

6 March 2012

Just having a high price does not mean premium - you can put a high price tag on any old 5h1t. someone somewhere will probably buy it! Even better if you can use your premium tag and sell that same stuff to developing economies to max profits before their expectations rise in line with the more developed markets

Not very scientific, but if you look at UK secondhand cars for sale on autotrader -No1 Ford, 2/ Vauxhall, 3/VW, 4/BMW............ I would say it is fairly mainstream as a make in this market.

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