BMW has warned that it is not aiming to make a profit in 2009 and says that it will focus instead on managing costs and cash flow.
The announcement comes just days after BMW posted 2008 profits of just €330m (£303m), down almost 90 per cent on the previous financial year.
BMW expects further difficulties this year as global car markets could drop as much as a further 20 per cent. However, it believes that its sales will begin to recover in 2010.
A significant proportion of BMW’s planned recovery will be due to the launch of several new models. The new – and highly profitable – BMW 5-series GT crossover, which arrives on the market late this year, should deliver a boost in sales, while replacements for both the 5-series and 3-series will reach dealerships during 2010 and 2011.
BMW chief executive Norbert Reithofer said, “2009 will be a transition year. This is why we have set clear priorities: liquidity, free cash flow and working capital, fixed costs and investments.”